Liverpool grads join new Netflix production

A group of talented graduates from Liverpool’s LMA have been awarded roles as part of the crew on new Netflix series The Irregulars.

The production, for which filming is taking place at locations across the UK, including Liverpool, is set in Victorian London following a gang of troubled delinquent teens who are manipulated into solving crimes for the sinister Doctor Watson and his mysterious business partner.

As the crimes take on a horrifying supernatural edge and a dark power emerges, it’ll be up to the Irregulars to come together to save London, each other, and potentially the entire world.

And, as part of the project, Netflix and production company Drama Republic teamed up with media, music and arts institute LMA and the Liverpool Film Office to create five entrant opportunities for LMA alumni to work on the series across various departments.

The goal is to offer trainees from the Liverpool City Region the opportunity to work alongside seasoned industry professionals on The Irregulars.

Among the LMA graduates working on the production is trainee assistant director Alex Carr. He joins fellow former students Natalie Anderson, Reece Burke, James O’Toole and Harvey Shaw.

Alex, 23, who studied Film and TV Production at LMA, said: “We’ve been on set from the beginning of production so we’ve been fully integrated into the team. We’ve filmed in locations up and down the country, but the most poignant for us was St George’s Hall as it’s where we graduated from LMA so it was a real ‘full circle’ moment for us and one that was really special.

“It’s been fantastic to be able to put into practice what we learnt during our degree courses and to see how our skills translate into the real world – from looking after cast members and making sure they’re in the right place at the right time to assisting senior members of the crew, we’re getting to try a bit of everything.

“This opportunity has also helped us to build connections with key industry contacts and learn from some of the very best in the field, so we’re excited to see what happens next.”

The pilot scheme is part of the Liverpool Film Office’s five-year plan to develop an industry-led talent development pipeline. The aim is to deliver an inclusive, highly-skilled workforce that will help secure Liverpool’s long-term ambition to be a first-class creative and digital content production base. The Liverpool Film Office team will work with industry and training providers, such as LMA.

The Irregulars stars Thaddea Graham (Letter For The King, Us) as Bea; Darci Shaw (​Judy, The Bay​) as Jessie; Jojo Marcari (Sex Education, Hard Sun) as Billy; McKell David (Snatch, Damilola Our Loved Boy) as Spike and Harrison Osterfield  (Catch 22) as Leopold; Henry Lloyd-Hughes (​Killing Eve, The Inbetweeners, Indian Summers​) as Sherlock; Royce Pierreson (​Judy, The Witcher, Line of Duty) as Doctor Watson; Clarke Peters (​His Dark Materials, The Wire, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) as Linen Man.

Written and executive produced by Tom Bidwell (Watership Down, My Mad Fat Diary), The Irregulars is also executive produced by Jude Liknaitzky (My Mad Fat Diary, Doctor Foster) and Greg Brenman (Peaky Blinders, The Honourable Woman). The series is produced by Rebecca Hodgson (Good Cop, Deep Water) and lead director is Johnny Kenton (Endeavour) with Joss Agnew (The Split, Poldark) and Weronika Tofilska (Last Train) also directing. The Irregulars’ arrival in the city follows previous Sherlock Holmes adaptations being filmed there, including Guy Ritchie’s 2011 starring Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law.

Richard Wallace, who co-founded LMA with his brother, Simon, said: “Netflix and Drama Republic have provided this unique, life-changing opportunity to our graduates to help develop new talent and create the next generation of industry stars. We are committed to supporting our students after they leave us, playing a role in their career development wherever possible, so this initiative forms an important part of our culture at LMA.”

Head of Liverpool Film Office & LCR Production Fund Manager, Lynn Saunders, said:  “We have spent the last 30 years honing our reputation as a film-friendly city, and are proud to the most filmed region, outside of London.

“We never rest on our laurels, and our ambition is to develop and strengthen a local talent pool which can be used by any production which films in the city region.

“It’s rewarding to see our ambitions become a reality and we’re delighted to have brought a global giant such as Netflix, together with Liverpool’s LMA to enable a number of talented graduates to experience what working in the industry really means.

“We look forward to developing the programme further and creating more exciting opportunities for young people in the future.”

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Liverpool Waterfront