The Radio Times logo

Luke Treadaway and David Morrissey star in new ITV drama The Singapore Grip from the makers of Poldark

The series will follow a British family living in Singapore during the Second World War

Published: Monday, 11th March 2019 at 2:27 pm

Luke Treadaway and David Morrissey will star in an ITV adaptation of JG Farrell’s 1978 novel The Singapore Grip.


The drama will follow the "epic story" of a British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion during the Second World War, and is produced by Damien Timmer, the man behind series such as Poldark, Victoria and Endeavour.

Little Voice star Jane Horrocks, In the Flesh actor Luke Newberry and Star Trek actor Colm Meaney will also feature in the drama.

Ordeal by Innocence star Treadaway will play the "reluctant hero and innocent abroad Matthew Webb", while Morrissey will play a rubber merchant, Walter Blackett, a ruthless man who heads up British Singapore’s oldest firm alongside his business partner Webb, Matthew's father, played by Game of Thrones' Charles Dance.

When senior Webb's health begins to fail, Blackett decides to secure the future of the firm by marrying off his spoilt daughter Joan (Georgia Blizzard) to Matthew. But Matthew's idealistic outlook and feelings for Chinese refugee Vera Chiang (Coronation Street's Elizabeth Tan) cause Blackett to become increasingly suspicious.

Peep Show's Bart Edwards and Christoph Guybert complete the cast.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Atonement) will adapt the novel. Commenting on Hampton's script, producer Timmer said: “For me, J.G. Farrell and Christopher Hampton is the absolute dream team – two of the finest writers this country has ever produced.


"Forty years after it was first written, bringing The Singapore Grip to the screen is a passion project for all of us. It’s an exceptionally well-crafted novel which has been adapted with unique flair and mischief by Christopher.

"It’s a privilege to be making this for ITV, and we hope this hugely entertaining and exotic saga will be a memorable treat for the audience.”
The series has begun filming in South East Asia

Sponsored content