Nico Mirallegro, star of The Village, is to appear alongside Daniel Mays in a new one-off BBC1 drama by Accused creator Jimmy McGovern – about the centuries-old legal doctrine of joint enterprise, and how it affects four young men who flee the scene of a fatal stabbing.
Common, which will be feature-length, weaves a story around the potential injustice of a legal principle that was founded in order to prevent aristocratic dueling and is now used to stem gang violence, but which campaigners say can lead to innocent people being jailed.
Along with Mirallegro and Mrs Biggs star Mays, the drama will feature Jodhi May (The Ice Cream Girls), Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones) and Susan Lynch (Monroe).
McGovern said: “When it comes to casting you always have a ‘wish list’ – a list of actors who’d be perfect for the parts you have written. You never get them of course. They’re often too busy or away on holiday or they hate the script or whatever. But on this occasion, I got them all, every single one on my wish list. And I am over the moon.”
Mirallegro, who played First World War soldier Joe in acclaimed BBC1 period saga The Village earlier this year, here plays a 17-year-old called Johnjo who gives his friends a lift to what he thinks is a trip out for pizza. In fact they plan a violent confrontation that ends in death. Under the doctrine of joint enterprise, Johnjo is charged along with the gang.
Mays and Lynch play the victim’s parents, with Jodhi May and Andrew Tiernan (Prisoners’ Wives) as Johnjo’s parents. The supporting cast includes Michelle Farley (Game Of Thrones, Misfits), Jack McMullen (Waterloo Road) and, as a court judge, Michael Gambon.
Common will be directed by regular McGovern collaborator David Blair, who was behind two episodes of last year’s run of Accused, including Mo and Sue’s Story, for which Olivia Colman won a Bafta. Blair also directed Snodgrass for Sky Arts 1’s Playhouse Presents series.