Steve Coogan is going back in time for his next project – a new comedy drama set in a Welsh hippy commune in 1969.
The Alan Partridge star revealed at the Edinburgh Television Festival that he was co-writing a script adaptation of the book Hippy Dinners: A Memoir of a Rural Childhood by Abbie Ross.
“It starts in 1969 and is set against the investiture of Prince Charles in Carnarvon Castle – obviously a very important moment in the nation’s history,” Coogan revealed.
Ross’ memoirs starts in 1972 but the action has been moved back three years and the title has been changed. The working title for the script is called Far Out.
Added Coogan: “It has 15, 20 characters of different sizes, various storylines that intersect. It’s something I am passionate about and know will make people laugh and move them. It’s about class, politics and, more importantly than any of that, it’s about people, characters, stories humanity.”
Coogan didn’t disclose if it was a TV or film project. His co-writer is writer Jess Williams, whose credits include Grantchester and Inspector George Gently.
Christine Langan, the chief executive of Baby Cow, the producers of the new project, added: “It’s very much about now even though it’s set in the sixties and 70s because it’s about how ideological can you live. It’s clear that a lot of people who grew up on communes people became very successful business people.”
Coogan added that he is following a method similar to the one he employed on his 2013 film Philomena, in which he also starred.
“It is those same organic and funny things, letting the story lead you towards poignancy or comedy. It is about how people surprise you and how you shouldn’t judge people because you don’t know what their stories are.”
Langan also revealed that Baby Cow is developing a script based on poet Benjamin Zephaniah’s memoir The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah. Another is based on Blue: A Memoir written by former senior Metropolitan Police hostage negotiator John Sutherland and charting his battles with his mental health.