Jo Hartley searching for her stolen marrows in Swede Caroline

The marrow, which is just an overgrown courgette, is not in any way related to the swede. So a comedy drama about stolen marrows called ‘Swede Caroline’ is pushing the Neil Diamond related pun to the limit.

Nevertheless Jo Hartley (This is England, After Life and In My Skin) will lead the comedy-drama as Caroline, a competitive giant vegetable grower preparing for the big annual National Veg Championship. Caroline finds her life turned upside down when her prized marrows are stolen. She hires two private detectives but then they go missing as well. Are the events linked? Probably not. But Caroline thinks the two events are connected and the hunt for her missing marrows takes her way beyond the local allotments, into a seedy world of national corruption that goes all the way to the top.

The mockumentary style production, news of which first broke in The Hollywood Reporter, features a bumper crop of actors and comedians including:  

BAFTA winner Celyn Jones (Submergence, Manhunt, Set Fire To The Stars), Richard Lumsden (Sightseers, Sense and Sensibility), Aisling Bea (This Way Up), Rebekah Murrell (Trying, Pls Like, Romeo and Juliet), Ash Tandon (Bodyguard, The Phantom of the Open), Laura Checkley (King Gary), Ray Fearon (Beauty and the Beast, Hamlet), Mark Silcox (Mandy, Man Like Mobeen) and Steve Brody (The Office, I’m Alan Partridge, Life’s Too Short).

Swede Caroline, which is due to start shooting this month, is the feature directorial debut for co-directors and regular collaborators Finn Bruce and Brook Driver who also co-created the story, with Driver penning the script. The two recently teamed for the dark comedy Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break, which bowed in SXSW earlier this year, winning the special jury prize.

BIFA-nominated Bruce also lead produces the film for Belstone Pictures alongside Anthony Toma (Sundance-winning The Devil’s Harmony) of Deadbeat Films. Boris Thompson-Roylance and Jack Thompson-Roylance will serve as executive producers for Deadbeat Films, with Hartley, Bruce, Driver and Toma also serving as executive producers.

“This is a feel-good, home-grown tale, celebrating the great British garden culture”

“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Finn at Belstone Pictures to bring Swede Caroline to life, with Jo Hartley leading the charge,” said Deadbeat CEO and creative director, Boris Thompson-Roylance. “This is a feel-good, home-grown tale, celebrating the great British garden culture and the weird and wonderful eccentrics whom inhabit it, you’re going to love it.”

“This is such a privilege to be making a film with such an exciting and inspiring group of filmmakers,” added Bruce. “We are pumped to tell a story with such heart that will also bring a smile to its audiences face. Collaborating with Deadbeat is a new chapter for Belstone, but the talent and hunger within Boris, Jack and their team is contagious, we look forward to a long and fruitful co-financing and co-producing relationship.”

Financing was arranged by Bruce from Belstone through a co-production deal with Deadbeat. Belstone’s previous films alongside Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break include Raindance best film nominee Tracks, and the LA Outfest grand jury prize winner and audience award winner Tucked, which was launched in the U.K. at BFI Flare. Deadbeat’s financing and production on Swede Caroline marks the first project for Deadbeat Studios, which will be the home for both Deadbeat and Belstone’s long-form films.

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