Written by the Bafta-nominated writer of Damilola, Our Loved Boy, Levi David Addai, and directed by Lewis Arnold (Broadchurch, Humans), Dark Mon£y tells the fictional story of The Mensahs, an ordinary working-class family from North London whose youngest son has recently finished filming a major Hollywood movie role.
A struggling family accepts a substantial pay-off from a renowned filmmaker to keep silent about the molestation of their child. They felt this would enable the family to heal and move on – they were so wrong.
Unable to find any other kind of justice, Manny and Sam Mensah accept a substantial pay-off to keep silent about the molestation of their son Isaac by a famous Hollywood producer.
What attracted you to the role?
Jill Halfpenny: It was letting the audience see moment by moment what those people have to go through, and not just those things that we see on TV when someone walks out of a law court and is really happy or really sad. Let’s go all the way back to the very beginning and show the devastation that happens.
Babou Ceesay: There’s so much, relationship-wise, going on in the family setting – things unsaid, things not done. And I thought, as awful as this sounds, the abuse is almost outside of that. It just becomes this massive light on what love actually exists in this family, just among themselves. As harsh as what’s happened, what in the end is the most important, what will keep them together? And that’s the thing that just made me think, when can I start?
Tell us about your character.
Jill Halfpenny: I play Sam, who works in a bank. She is married to Manny and they have two children, Isaac and Jess, and she has a stepson Tyrone. She has an inner strength but she’s not necessarily the most gregarious person you would ever meet. I would say that her husband Manny leads the way, in the sense of if they were at a party he would be the life and soul and the one that wouldn’t want to leave.
Babou Ceesay: Manny is facing the biggest question he’s ever had to face. He’s made some mistakes in his life, made some choices; things have happened that through circumstance, through him being irresponsible so on and so forth he’s now in a situation where he’s in the life he is in. But at least he knows what it is and he’s doing everything he can to keep it going.
Isaac Mensah – Max Fincham
Tyrone Stevens-Mensah – Tut Nyuot
Sam Mensah – Jill Halfpenny
Manny Mensah – Babou Ceesay
Jotham Starr – John Schwab
Cheryl Denon – Rebecca Front
Jess Mensah – Olive Gray
Ryan Osei – Arnold Oceng
Maggie Mensah – Ellen Thomas
Enforcement Agent – Joel Morris
Sabrina Stevens – Susan Wokoma
Hayden – Toby Oliver
Lucas – Bailey Cassell
Mrs James (Headteacher) – Lucy Russell
Sally – Erin Shanagher
Dominic Nadesan – Rudi Dharmalingam
Farah – Sophie Carmen-Jones
Malcolm Danvers – Gary Beadle
Receptionist – Katherine Edrupt
Office Worker – India Semper-Hughes
Brett Huntley – Joseph May
Episode One of this 4-part series airs Monday 8th July on BBC One at 9PM