Headlong and the Guardian are pleased to announce the launch of BREXIT SHORTS: DRAMAS FROM A DIVIDED NATION, a series of nine short films from leading writers - including David Hare, Abi Morgan, Maxine Peake and Meera Syal - responding to the Brexit vote.

Britain's decision on 23 June 2016 to leave the European Union has been described as the single most significant event in UK politics since WW2, and sent political shockwaves throughout the United Kingdom and beyond. One year on from the referendum vote, and while the government enters the start of formal Brexit talks, the films seek to illustrate how such a disparity of views can affect ideas of community, values and aspirations, and question how they could reshape politics in Britain

Released online on 19 June 2017 on the Guardian and Headlong's websites, the films feature leading actors from across the UK - including Kristin Scott Thomas, Penelope Wilton, Steffan Rhodri and Scott Reid - and look at both sides of the vote to interrogate what happened, why, and how Brexit could impact the characters' lives.

The first film in the series Time to Leave - written by David Hare and featuring Kristin Scott Thomas - follows the story of Eleanor, in Winchester, who despite not believing everything the Leave campaigners claimed, still voted for change. However a year on, with Brexit voted in, she feels no difference.

View trailer here.


Produced and edited in-house by the Guardian, and directed by Headlong's Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin, Associate Director Amy Hodge, Maxine Peake and Elen Bowman, the dramatic monologues are part of the Guardian's popular original drama series, which seesprofiled artists creatively respond to current headline topics.

Jeremy Herrin, Artistic Director of Headlong said:

  • In the aftermath of the referendum, we felt it was important to deal with the difficulties and opportunities that a political shock like this throws up. In a political culture that is polarised and oppositional, we wanted writers to be given the space to explore these complex issues. As a national company we have the ability to reflect the diversity of opinion and feeling across the British Isles; to explore the conflicts, to embrace the contradictions and to make some films that might entertain and move the conversation forward.

It's been brilliant working with The Guardian and so many interesting writers and actors to explore the times we are living in."

Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media said: "The result of the Brexit vote was a seismic and historic moment for Britain, and the shockwaves are still being felt a year later. Brexit Shorts brings to life the questions that are being raised throughout the country - on both sides of the voting divide. ?We're delighted to be working with Headlong to bring this fascinating series to our audience."

Amy Hodge, Associate Director of Headlong said: "We were all struck by how polarised opinions were and particularly how the artistic community seemed so surprised by the result. It seemed to me that people in the UK, for a myriad of reasons, simply stopped listening to each other. At Headlong we are privileged to work with some of the best writers in the country who have been asked to capture the temperature of the towns they are from or have a connection to. Hopefully these films are an offering into a want to create conversations across the country about how we see our nation today."

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