Funny as folk

Comedy names line up for Jolene: The Indie Folk Star

A host of comedy names are to appear in an improvised 'romantic comedy road-movie' to be released this autumn.

Jolene: The Indie Folk Star marks the film debut of Fresh Meat's Charlotte Ritchie, who plays the title role.

Her character is a singer in a duo with Benny, who is played by Craig Roberts, best known for his lead role in Richard Ayoade's film Submarine. Following a successful debut album, they sign to a big music label. Packing them off to a Welsh music festival to promote their new record, the label tries to get them to change their folk sound to what executive producer Jon Rennie describes as 'homogenised pop music’.

Stand-ups Tom Rosenthal, Ian Smith and Nick Mohammed, plus Life's Too Short's Rosamund Hanson, co-star in the low-budget indie movie, which was shot in only five days in London and Wales.

Mohammed is the record company boss and Smith plays the duo's road manager, while Rosenthal is the record producer who instructs the duo to change their sound, in league with Hanson's ditzy publicist.

Jolene – the first feature from director Jamie Adams – will not have a cinema release 'because the costs are too high' says Rennie. But there are hopes to screen it on the festival circuit and there will be a DVD and video-on-demand release in mid-autumn.

'Jamie and I wrote an outline of the scenes, going through what needed to be in each,' Rennie explains. 'But beyond asking the guys to hit their beats, they improvised the dialogue.'

Armstrong and Miller writer Nico Tatarowicz and Adams' brother Ashley wrote the film's original songs. The soundtrack also features music by Los Campesinos, Avi Buffalo and Seapony.

One scene was shot at ITV's This Morning studios in London, with the action then shifting to Cardiff, Machynlleth and Porthmadog.

Ritchie is a member of classical music crossover quartet All Angels. Fresh Meat co-creator Sam Bain has previously said that the episode in which she sang Allanah Myles' Black Velvet was written to showcase her vocal talent.

This trailer for Jolene: The Indie Folk Star was released today:

- by Jay Richardson

Published: 10 May 2013

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