The Singapore Grip, adapted by Christopher Hampton from J.G. Farrell’s classic novel, will air on ITV.

 “The Singapore Grip is a portrait of a society in decline as they cling to a world that is slowly crumbling. I’m delighted to be working with Christopher Hampton and for ITV to be the home for his brilliant adaptation of J.G Farrell’s epic novel.” – ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill

The Singapore Grip is an epic story set during World War Two, centring on a British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion. Singapore, 1941. Rubber merchant Walter Blackett, his wife Sylvia, ruthless daughter Joan and spoilt son Monty live a life of luxury, seemingly untouched by the troubles in Europe. With Walter’s business partner Mr Webb’s health failing, Walter needs to ensure that the future of their firm is secure.

He decides that Webb’s son Matthew is the perfect match for Joan, and Joan is happy to agree, but Matthew’s idealism leaves Walter increasingly suspicious as Matthew himself falls under the spell of Vera Chiang, a mysterious Chinese refugee…

The six-part drama is adapted from Booker Prize winner J.G. Farrell’s novel by Oscar winning screenwriter and playwright Christopher Hampton. The series will shoot in the Far East this autumn by Mammoth Screen for ITV Drama. J.G. Farrell (1935 – 1979) wrote the Empire Trilogy of novels: Troubles (1970), The Siege of Krishnapur (1973) and The Singapore Grip (1978) all of which dealt with different facets of colonial rule. He received the Booker Prize in 1973 and was retrospectively awarded the Lost Man Booker Prize in 2010. He died aged 44, drowning on the coast of County Cork while fishing.

““As a great admirer and, eventually, a friend of J.G.Farrell, I was delighted to be invited to adapt The Singapore Grip, a panoramic account of the disastrous loss of Singapore to the Japanese invaders in 1942. Close analysis of this great novel has only deepened my enthusiasm for the skill with which Farrell has combined the private story of the machinations, commercial and amorous, of the Blackett family and their struggle – described with Farrell’s trademark subversive wit – to preserve and expand their prosperous rubber business with the unfolding of the cataclysmic events to which they remain totally oblivious until it’s too late.” – writer Christopher Hampton

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