Lambs Of God to lead Fox­tel’s flock of top new shows

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - HOLLY BYRNES

HOT on the heels of Fox­tel’s ac­claimed drama se­ries Pic­nic At Hang­ing Rock, the sub­scrip­tion chan­nel has be­gun pro­duc­tion of its next big-bud­get epic.

Lambs Of God will star The Hand­maid’s Tale Emmy-win­ner Ann Dowd, Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies favourite Essie Davis, and UK ac­tor Jes­sica Bar­den as three nuns locked away from the world, in a re­mote Aus­tralian con­vent, whose lives are turned up­side down when a young priest (Sam Reid) ar­rives to ex­plain the Church has sold their di­lap­i­dated home to de­vel­op­ers.

Based on the novel by Syd­ney au­thor Marele Day, the twisted and macabre tale will be­gin film­ing at Fox Stu­dios from this week.

And in his first foray into tele­vi­sion drama and a ma­jor coup for the pro­duc­tion, Os­carnom­i­nated cin­e­matog­ra­pher Don McAlpine has signed on as di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy, with the se­ries to shoot on lo­ca­tion across Syd­ney, the Blue Moun­tains, the NSW south coast and Tas­ma­nia.

Dowd won global ac­claim for her Hand­maid’s role.

She had not read the book be­fore tak­ing on the role but said: “When I read the scripts, the beauty and rich­ness of the story was com­pletely ap­par­ent. I have a deep re­spect and love for nuns, as I was ed­u­cated by nuns and I have two aunts who are Catholic nuns (or Sis­ters), so I have al­ways been drawn to that world. And to see it put in this mag­i­cal place, I thought was ex­quis­ite.”

Fox­tel head of drama Penny Win de­scribed the pro­duc­tion as “a lush and evoca­tive drama” with “its time­less mes­sage of re­silience”.

“Marele Day’s unique novel stayed with me long af­ter I’d fin­ished read­ing it, and screen­writer Sarah Lam­bert (Love My Way, A Place To Call Home) has taken the story and en­riched it in ways that are fresh and en­gag­ing.”

Pic­ture: Mark Rogers/ Fox­tel

Jes­sica Bar­den, Ann Dowd and Essie Davis will star in Fox­tel's new drama se­ries Lambs Of God.

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