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Duchess Street brings novels to TV

Duchess Street Productions in the UK has secured TV rights to Mal Peet’s The Murdstone Trilogy and Jonathan Coe’s The House of Sleep.

Donna Wiffen

The London-based firm, part of the Anthology Group of production companies that launched last year out of Bob & Co, is in discussion with broadcasters about both adaptations.

The Murdstone Trilogy, a comedy about book prizes, chatshows, literary festivals and the fantasy industry inspired by Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, will be adapted for TV by dramatist Mike Poulton.

Poulton described the books as “a hilarious satire on celebrity culture and our current obsession with ‘Phantasy’ literature and film.”

He has previously specialised in adaptations of literary classics for the Royal Shakespeare Company, London’s West End and Broadway. The Murdstone Trilogy adaptation marks his first television venture.

Jane Eden (The Split, Fortitude S2), meanwhile, is on board development of a six-part television adaptation of Coe’s The House of Sleep, an exploration of the science of sleep and how it defines our lives, relationships and culture.

This series is being developed with the collaboration and support of The Wellcome Trust.

“Jane Eden has produced a brilliant re-imagining of my novel for the modern era. She has taken its original themes – ambiguities around sleep and gender – and infused them with new relevance and new energy, weaving them into a compelling narrative tapestry,” said Coe.

Donna Wiffen, CEO of Duchess Street Productions, said: “It is a privilege to be working on projects of such high calibre and with two of the most unique and vibrant voices writing today.”

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