The Song of Lunch

To mark National Poetry Day on 7 October, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson star in a powerful and visually arresting film, The Song Of Lunch, made by BBC Drama Production for BBC Two.

The film, a dramatisation of Christopher Reid’s narrative poem, tells the story of an unnamed book editor (Alan Rickman) who, 15 years after their break-up, is meeting his former love (Emma Thompson) for a nostalgic lunch at Zanzotti’s, the Soho restaurant they used to frequent.

Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, says: “To mark National Poetry Day, BBC Two will be bringing this art form to life with a truly ambitious project and a stellar cast. We hope that audiences will enjoy this dramatisation of Christopher Reid’s touching and witty poem and maybe feel inspired to indulge in a little more poetry themselves.”

The woman is now living a glamorous life in Paris, married to a world-renowned writer, whilst the unnamed editor has failed in his writing career, detests his mundane publishing job and regrets the end of their love affair. When he arrives at Zanzotti’s he finds it under new management and much changed, and this seems to fuel his resentment about growing older and being left behind.

The stage is set for an emotional and bittersweet reunion. As the wine flows, and the couple rake over their failed relationship, nostalgia turns to recrimination.

The single film sees Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson working together once again. They both starred in Sense And Sensibility and Alan directed Emma in A Winter Guest.

Poet Christopher Reid won the Costa Book Of The Year for A Scattering, in early 2010. The Song Of Lunch has been described as displaying “the full range of Christopher Reid’s wit, craft and human sympathy” (John Bayley, Poetry Review).

The Song Of Lunch will be directed by Niall MacCormick (Wallander, The Long Walk To Finchley) with producer Pier Wilkie (Criminal Justice) and executive producers Greg Wise and Sarah Brown for the BBC. It was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, and Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning.


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