Sheridan Smith stars in Jo Brand film The More You Ignore Me

Monday 7th November 2016, 10:52am

Funny Girl. Sheridan Smith.

Sheridan Smith is to take the lead role in The More You Ignore Me, a new comedy drama film written by Jo Brand.

The project, which is based on Brand's critically acclaimed 2009 novel of the same name, is described as "a warm comedy drama focusing on the life of an unconventional family in 1980s rural England".

Sheridan Smith, who has just finished a run in West End show Funny Girl (pictured), will take on the lead role of Gina, a young mother, whose efforts to be a loving parent and wife are undermined by her declining mental health.

Gina develops an obsession with the local weatherman, which leads to an admission to the nearby psychiatric hospital.

The producers explain: "Over the years, as she grows up, her daughter Alice struggles to relate to her heavily medicated mum, and causes chaos when she comes up with a plan to reconnect with her, which divides the family forever and leads to a moving climax", adding that the film provides "a sometimes stark, yet comical insight into life within this quirky household, whilst addressing mental health issues and their impact on the family".

The More You Ignore Me will be set to the songs of The Smiths.

Les Miserables and Cold Feet star Ella Hunt will play Alice in the film, with Mark Addy, Sally Phillips, Sheila Hancock, Ricky Tomlinson, Lisa Stansfield and Tom Davis also cast. Jo Brand will also appear on screen as the character Sandra.

Production company Genesius Pictures begins filming The More You Ignore Me today, with 5 weeks on location in Blackpool planned. The shoot is being overseen by director Keith English and Northern Soul producer Debbie Gray.

The More You Ignore Me will be released in 2017.

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