Set on a single street in South London, Capital is a portrait of a road transformed by soaring property prices: what was once the home of modest lower-middle class families, Pepys Road has been continuously gentrified into a street of multimillion pound houses.
Toby Jones, Lesley Sharp, Wunmi Mosaku and Adeel Akhtar star in Peter Bowker’s adaptation of John Lanchester’s bestselling novel Capital. Joined by Rachael Stirling, Gemma Jones, Robert Emms, Bryan Dick and Radoslaw Kaim, the line-up also includes multi-award-winning Indian actress Shabana Azmi and, fresh from her Olivier award-winning role in West End musical Once, Zrinka Cvitešić.
The denizens of Pepys Road include investment banker Roger (Toby Jones), rubbing his hands in anticipation of his £1m bonus; his spendthrift wife Arabella (Stirling); Polish builder Bogdan (Kaim), who has come from Warsaw to indulge the rich in their interior decoration whims; Quentina, the Zimbabwean refugee with a PhD, working as a traffic warden (Mosaku); local newsagent Ahmed (Akhtar); and OAP Petunia (Gemma Jones), who has lived her entire life on Pepys Road and who is now contemplating death in the house in which she was born.
“What really attracted me to the part was that [Roger is] a very well educated, functioning human being on one level, who has obeyed the rules and earned a lot of money, but on another level something is happening to him internally that he doesn’t have the language to articulate. …and what happens to him in the story makes him realise that his life is not all it might be.” – Toby Jones
One day, the street’s residents all receive an anonymous postcard through their front doors bearing a simple message: ‘We Want What You Have’. Who is behind the anonymous hate campaign? And what do they want?
As the mystery of the postcards deepens, we learn more about this vivid and unforgettable ensemble of characters. Interweaving stories reveal lives filled with love and loss, fear and greed, fortune and envy and most recognisable of all, family and home – stories bursting with piercing and funny observations on modern life and urban existence, of ordinary people who find themselves caught and changed by a city at a time of extraordinary flux.
“It was a lot of fun and a real pleasure to work on. It was nice to do a story about families, it’s very different from other work that I’ve done and there was a very different feel on set. You looked forward to coming in to work every day.” – Adeel Akhtar
Capital will air across three episodes, each an hour long. The series has been produced by Kudos for BBC One. Filming took place in London.