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Joe Layton and Theo Barklem-Biggs lead ‘Tatau’ cast


Joe Layton (New Worlds, Father Brown) and Theo Barklem-Biggs (The Inbetweeners Movie, Silk) are to lead the cast of new 8-part BBC Three drama, Tatau.

Layton and Barklem-Biggs play Kyle Connor and Paul ‘Budgie’ Griffiths, a pair of 20-something friends from London, travelling the world looking for sun, fun and adventure. Kyle even got himself a Maori-style tattoo, excited about their eventual destination: the Cook Islands.

When snorkelling in a lagoon, Kyle finds the body of a local girl, Aumea, tied up underwater – dead. Returning to the lagoon with the police, Kyle finds her corpse has disappeared. But Kyle knows what he saw. Desperate to uncover what happened, Kyle and Budgie find themselves sucked deeper and deeper into a world of Maori myths, symbols, and hallucinatory visions…until finally the full meaning of Kyle’s tattoo is revealed.

Dutch actor, Barry Atsma, as well as New Zealand actresses Shushila Takao, Cian Elyse White and Tai Berdinner-Blades, and actors Temuera Morrison, Alex Tarrant, Rawiri Jobe, Kirk Torrance and Rangimoana Taylor also also among the cast.

Joe Layton says: “I’m thrilled to be part of this original British drama. With such a talented production team behind it I can’t wait to help bring Richard’s fantastic scripts to life.”

Theo Barklem-Biggs adds: “I’m so excited to be a part of this unique project. The script is based on real Maori mythology, it has everything in it – romance, comedy, smuggling, mystery. I’m also really looking forward to working with such a great team – everyone from the producers to the directors, right down to the cast are spot on. Not to mention we’re filming in paradise!”

Rob Pursey, executive producer for Touchpaper TV says: “‘We are so excited to have a cast that combines some of the UK’s brightest new acting talent with the very best New Zealand actors, including a large Polynesian contingent.”

The drama is written by Richard Zajdlic; co-produced by Touchpaper TV (Being Human) and New Zealand’s largest screen production company, South Pacific Pictures, for BBC Three and BBC America.

Filming of Tatau started in September 2014 in the Cook Islands and New Zealand.