“The most selfless act you can do is to help someone else”: Niamh Algar, Philip Barantini, Helen Behan and Jordan Kouamé on Malpractice
From the man behind Boiling Point comes another nail-biting exercise in building tension, though this time the kitchen is swapped for a hospital ward. Working with a script penned by a real-life A&E doctor, Grace Ofori-Attah, Philip Barantini’s medical thriller mini-series for ITV, Malpractice, is teeming with authenticity, conveying the pressure-cooker scenarios our NHS doctors must encounter daily, made all the more difficult in the aftermath of the pandemic and in the face of budget cuts. Spearheading the action is Censor‘s Niamh Algar, whose portrayal of Dr Lucinda Edwards is astonishing to behold, conveying with excruciating believability the feeling of being at breaking point.
The Upcoming had the chance to hear from the director and stars ahead of the landing on ITV and ITVX. Barantini described the show as a thrilling ride full of twists and turns that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Initially hesitant to take on the project due to his busy schedule, he was eventually won over by the intense and engaging script from Ofori-Attah. He spoke about how he was able to bring accuracy and realism to the show, his approach that gives actors the freedom to improvise and find their own nuances within their characters, and the relevance of the story to the actual challenges faced by medical professionals. Barantini also shared an update on the process of turning his successful film Boiling Point into a five-part series.
Algar then delved into her preparation for the role, including shadowing a consultant in an A&E department in London to gain a better understanding of the high-pressure environment, how working with Barantini was a dream for her, and the relevance of Malpractice, highlighting the current struggles of junior doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, who feel undervalued, underpaid and overworked. She hopes the series sparks important conversations about the real-life pressures faced by those in the healthcare profession. Algar also shared her excitement about an upcoming project – a film called Maureen – where she’ll work alongside one of her favourite actors, Charlotte Rampling.
Actors Helen Behan and Jordan Kouamé further discussed their roles as those running the investigation into Edwards in the story. Behan, who has a nursing background, praises the show for its accurate depiction of hospital life and the humanity of doctors. Both spoke highly of working with director Barantini, who kept a calm atmosphere on-set and gave them the freedom to explore their characters, and expressed their admiration for the NHS and the challenges its workers face. They hope that Malpractice will help audiences understand the immense pressure doctors are under and recognise their humanity. The actors also praised Niamh’s nuanced performance, which helps bring out the complexity of the characters and their situations.
Malpractice is released on ITV and ITVX on 23rd April 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Malpractice here: