VIEWERS are set to be taken on a emotional roller-coaster with new gritty drama The Virtues.
The show stars Stephen Graham and is based on harrowing real-life story – here's the truth behind the new show.
What has actor Stephen Graham said about the story behind The Virtues?
Stephen Graham gives an emotive performance as Joseph, a depressed man who turns to alcohol to get over a childhood trauma.
Filmmaker Shane Meadows began constructing the series 14 years ago, prompted by a childhood trauma that he was only recently able to fully acknowledge.
Actor Stephen has revealed this is why he wanted to get involved in the show.
Speaking to Esquire he said: "I'd been involved with it for a while with Shane, we started talking about it when we were making This is England (in 2006).
"He wanted to do his own take on a Mary and Joseph scenario, and then later on down the line it developed into this idea of a man who is broken and trying to piece together his past."
Graham didn't need much convincing. "Number one, it intrigued me, and number two, I wanted to get involved when Shane said that it was loosely based on something that had happened to him."
What has writer Dhane Meadows said about the true story behind The Virtues?
Bafta-winning writer Shane Meadows has revealed that the drama is based on his own repressed childhood memories of sexual abuse.
The story was borne out of his own experience, at the age of nine, of being sexually assaulted by an older child.
Speaking at the premiere if The Virtues he said: “I’d been through something in my childhood that I didn’t realise had happened until I got to about 40.
“And I got to the bottom of this thing that had happened in my life as a kid, and I had fragmented memories. The very basis, the acorn of Joseph’s journey, was borne out of something that happened to me as a kid.”
The filmmaker went on to explain that instead of confronting “the people that had done it”, he channelled his emotions into creating The Virtues.
“Fundamentally, when I discovered this thing,” he said, “I went into a place of trying to track down the people that had done it… I was just about to track down this guy I wanted to find, to confront him, basically. But I knew if I confronted him, if at any stage in that conversation he smirked at me, I was probably going to jump over the table and bite something off his face.”
What is the plot of The Virtues?
The four-part miniseries focuses on the life of Joseph, who is struggling with the process of recovering from his alcohol addiction.
He is set down a further path of destruction after his ex decides to move to Australia and with their son Shea.
In a desperate attempt to find companionship while recollecting thoughts of his childhood, Joseph heads back to the south of Ireland where he restores his broken bond with his sister Anna.
Anna had thought her brother was dead, so it’s a complete shock for her to see her sibling at her home.
She welcomes Joseph with open arms and, through the help of her husband, employs him to work under the family’s company.
Here, Joseph comes-face-to-face with his past demons when he meets Craigy – an odd figure who won't leave him alone.
When does The Virtues start?
The Virtues will premiere TONIGHT (May 15) on Channel 4 at 9pm.
It will run for four episodes, all at the same time and on Wednesday.
If you miss any episodes you can watch again on Channel 4+1 or later on All4.
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