‘Atonement’ writer is ‘delighted’ to be adapting WW2 novel ‘The Singapore Grip’ for TV

Playwright Christopher Hampton has been discussing his new television period drama project.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons) is adapting Booker Prize winner J.G. Farrell’s classic novel  The Singapore Grip for ITV.

Set during World War Two, the six-part mini-series will centre on a British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion.

1978’s The Singapore Grip is the third of Farrell’s Empire Trilogy of novels dealing with different facets of colonial rule, following Troubles (1970) and The Siege of Krishnapur (1973).

Christopher Hampton commented: “As a great admirer and, eventually, a friend of J.G.Farrell, I was delighted to be invited to adapt The Singapore Grip, a panoramic account of the disastrous loss of Singapore to the Japanese invaders in 1942.

“Close analysis of this great novel has only deepened my enthusiasm for the skill with which Farrell has combined the private story of the machinations, commercial and amorous, of the Blackett family and their struggle – described with Farrell’s trademark subversive wit – to preserve and expand their prosperous rubber business with the unfolding of the cataclysmic events to which they remain totally oblivious until it’s too late.

“Matthew Webb, our bespectacled protagonist, an idealistic innocent abroad, lands in the middle of all this, to find himself fiercely pursued by two beautiful women – an English heiress and a Chinese adventurer – and his story, with its tumultuous backdrop, is told in a style with echoes of Tolstoy and Evelyn Waugh, but still, unmistakably, the unique voice of Jim Farrell.”

J.G. Farrell’s book is available to buy on Amazon.

The Singapore Grip starts filming this autumn in the Far East and is expected to air in the UK in 2019 on ITV.