Ridley Road is another one of those shows where truth just seems to be stranger than fiction. I don’t think a writer could have written this story, or if they did, it wouldn’t seem like it could actually happen. I’m sure the story of Vivien Epstein isn’t the first Jewish person to infaltrate the other side – but this story is one that needs to be told. Based on a true story Ridley Road tells the tale of a young Jewish hairdresser who fits right into London’s mod scene, while secretly infiltrating the British neo-Nazi hierarchy on behalf of Jewish antifascists. The premise seems almost written for the screen, but the story is one that will grab you from the first introduction.
Besides jaw-dropping scenes in the first few minutes of the first episode, Ridley Road has something else that will shock viewers – this true story takes place in the 1960s. This isn’t the 30’s and 40’s. And the story is one that we see could parallel some of the extremism that a lot of countries are seeing on the streets today. It hits hard as you watch the show, but with great storytelling – the series will hook you immediately.
The series has four episodes that take you through what Vivien does to not only help her community but her struggle to survive, and the tough decisions she has to make. We often hear of secret agents or even people doing things for larger agencies – but not the everyday person who took it upon themselves to make the change. Mixed with masterful acting and moments that will have you wanting more than the four episodes that we get.
Ridley Road is now streaming on PBS Channel on Amazon Prime. The subscription rate for the PBS MASTERPIECE Prime Video Channel is $5.99/month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. Every purchase helps support public television for all.
About Ridley Road:
Summer 1962: London is swinging with new music, hip fashions, and an irresistible hedonistic spirit. It’s also seething with antisemitic violence incited by homegrown neo-Nazis. “MASTERPIECE: Ridley Road,” is a riveting four-part drama set in this colorful but tumultuous time, based on Jo Bloom’s acclaimed novel. Inspired by true events, the series stars newcomer Agnes O’Casey as Vivien Epstein, a young Jewish hairdresser who fits right into London’s mod scene, while secretly infiltrating the British neo-Nazi hierarchy on behalf of Jewish antifascists.
O’Casey is joined by Rory Kinnear (No Time to Die) as Colin Jordan, the real-life leader of Britain’s post-World War II Nazi movement; Tom Varey (Game of Thrones) as Jack, Vivien’s true love, who mysteriously disappears at the outset of the series; Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan) as Vivien’s cagey uncle Soly, a secret operative for the 62 Group, which is combatting the resurgence of fascism; and Tracy-Ann Oberman (After Life) as Soly’s shrewd wife, Nancy.