Cast on cloud nine

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - TIM MARTAIN

ANY­ONE who has a prob­lem with the TV se­ries Cloud­street is in­vited to take their con­cerns straight to the top.

The three-part minis­eries, based on Tim Winton’s ac­claimed Aus­tralian novel, was adapted by a team of writers that in­cluded the au­thor him­self.

‘‘ So if you have a prob­lem with the adap­ta­tion, maybe you should give him a call and ask him what he thinks about you not lik­ing his adap­ta­tion of his book,’’ ac­tor Todd La­sance said.

La­sance, who you might recog­nise as Aden from Home and Away, plays Quick Lamb in this and said it was as faith­ful to the orig­i­nal ma­te­rial as any adap­ta­tion could hope to be.

‘‘ The whole cast has read the book and we were blown away by this pro­duc­tion, es­pe­cially af­ter see­ing the fin­ished re­sult,’’ he said.

Cloud­street is the story of two fam­i­lies in the 1940s and 1950s who have suf­fered sep­a­rate catas­tro­phes and move into the same house to­gether – 1 Cloud St, Perth – to pick up the pieces and re­build their lives from scratch.

La­sance said the pres­sure of bring­ing one of Aus­tralia’s best-loved sto­ries to life was not lost on any of the cast.

‘‘ The book is so rich, we were aware of how much of an epic fol­low­ing it has and we wanted to be true to it and do it jus­tice,’’ he said.

‘‘ Hav­ing Tim Winton in­volved with writ­ing the screen­play meant we could keep as much of that rich­ness as pos­si­ble and he loved com­ing on set.

‘‘ It did make me very ner­vous the first time he vis­ited, though, be­cause here I was about to play this char­ac­ter he spent years writ­ing about, but he’s such a down-to-earth guy that all those nerves dis­ap­peared as soon as he shook my hand.’’

Filmed with an as­ton­ish­ing depth and warmth, Cloud­street is vis­ually gor­geous and boasts ex­cep­tional pro­duc­tion val­ues. The house was built in full scale on an old park­ing lot near Perth es­pe­cially for the minis­eries. La­sance said the at­ten­tion to de­tail was amaz­ing.

‘‘ I re­mem­ber walk­ing on set and see­ing that house for first time. It was breath­tak­ing, awe-in­spir­ing; it was ex­actly how I en­vis­aged it from the book,’’ he said.

‘‘ And it was per­fect, right down to the dodgy re­paired bits in the floor and they had even sprin­kled grit and dead bugs in­side the light fit­tings.’’

With an all-star Aussie cast in­clud­ing Stephen Curry, Geoff Mor­rell and Tas­ma­nia’s Essie Davis, the hu­man drama is some of the best on Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion in re­cent years.

‘‘ We knew we were film­ing some­thing so beau­ti­ful that even in most in­tense mo­ments, with pro­duc­ers on your back yelling in­struc­tions, there was still an el­e­ment of calm be­cause of what we were in­volved in,’’ La­sance said.

While only avail­able to pay-TV sub­scribers, Cloud­street is an Aus­tralian epic that sim­ply has to be ex­pe­ri­enced: beau­ti­ful, haunt­ing, in­ti­mate, touch­ing and pow­er­ful.

POW­ER­FUL EPIC: Todd La­sance and Emma Booth bring Cloud­street to life.

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