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Anita Dobson reveals speaking and singing challenge of Suffolk murders film, London Road (VIDEO)

Singing with a ‘Suffolk twang’ was one of the challenges facing Anita Dobson in the groundbreaking new British film London Road, co-starring Olivia Colman and Tom Hardy, which shows how an Ipswich community healed itself after a series of horrifying murders in 2006.

Fortunately, the Suffolk accent ‘is not dissimilar to an East End accent,’ Anita told What’s On TV, speaking of her role as one of the residents of the Ipswich street that was put in the media spotlight following the killing of five local prostitutes. "]

Anita and her fellow cast members break into song in London Road, using the real words and speech patterns of the residents - an innovative technique devised by the award-winning team of writer Alecky Blythe, composer Adam Cork and director Rufus Norris for the acclaimed National Theatre production on which the film is based.

“It’s strangely freeing and exhilarating,” was Anita’s verdict on this unusual working method.

While making the film, Anita shared a Winnebago with Mad Max star Tom Hardy – but never at the same time.

She did share scenes, however, with Olivia Colman and brims over with praise for her co-star: “Olivia was remarkable. The minute she walked into the rehearsal room and started I thought, my God, she’s going to be amazing! It was a real joy to work with her. I’m a big fan.”

London Road premieres on 9th June via NT Live and is on general release on 12th June. Visit (opens in new tab) for more information.

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.