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Nancy Wake

21/08/2013
New Zealand

Description

Nancy Wake: The White Mouse

The thrilling true story of a NZ-born heroine who became the Gestapo’s most wanted woman in World War II. This showcase documentary-drama follows Nancy Wake’s life from becoming a vital link in the French resistance, to fleeing from Nazi spies, before returning as a highly trained special agent. She fought to win back her country, but can Nancy also save her husband's life? 

About

Headlines announced her as a ‘bombshell, Nazi killer’.  The doc-drama Nancy Wake: The White Mouse  includes all the action and intrigue from the life of a real life war heroine. You can stream or download the show here.

“If you love a ripping yarn, with a fair bit of danger, and a bit of sexy love-story, it is perfect television really” describes producer Gary Scott.

New Zealand-born Nancy Wake (1912-20011) was a wartime agent, commander and famously blunt raconteur who led a life of extreme adventure in the French resistance. She earned the nickname ‘The White Mouse’ when she hit the top of the Gestapo’s ‘most wanted’ list, but famously slipped through their net.

Featuring New Zealandactress Rachael Blampied as Nancy, this gripping 1 hour saw the production crew making the most of New Zealand locations to recreate WWII France.

As a hunted resistance courier, Wake was forced to flee from occupied France in 1943, leaving her husband Henri Fiocca behind. She embarked on a life of excitement and danger as an agent in Churchill’s secret army, the Special Operations Executive.

“Meanwhile her husband is also risking his own life in Marseille to cover her trail” says Scott.

“So this is a dramatic real-life love story, combined with a personal documentary that includes candid stories told by some of Nancy’s closest friends and confidants from her twilight years.”

The programme includes an interview with her biographer, rugby commentator and former Australian rugby player, Peter Fitzsimons. As well as friend and ex-television reporter, Jonathan Kinsella.

“Jonathan befriended Nancy partly because of a short documentary episode we did on her for a New Zealand series called  ‘Kiwis At War’ series. He was living in London and we sent him to interview her in her retirement home. On the condition that he take a bottle of gin. He managed to be three hours late, not his fault, but then spilt tonic all over her. Good start to a friendship really.”

“Her feminine charm is a pretty constant theme of how people describe her. She was bawdy and saucy, and utterly self assured. I wish I had met her myself.”

Scott says that he elected not to use any of the 2005 interview with Nancy in this production. “By time we interviewed her, she was 93 or 94, and this programme really celebrates her achievements as a young women, because as Fitzsimons says, it makes you realise ‘she really must have been something special, back in the day’.”

Behind the scenes

Nancy Wake: The White Mouse

The thrilling true story of a NZ-born heroine who became the Gestapo’s most wanted woman in World War II. This showcase documentary-drama follows Nancy Wake’s life from becoming a vital link in the French resistance, to fleeing from Nazi spies, before returning as a highly trained special agent. She fought to win back her country, but can Nancy also save her husband's life? 

Technical Specifications

TV Production

70 minute documentary-drama for TVNZ

Represented by TVF International

Contact will.stapley@tvf.co.uk

Senior Sales Executive

+442078373000

Recently, the programme sold to CITV in China, a territory notoriously difficult to access! Other territories already enjoying the programme are Australia, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Ukraine and USA.

Cast And Crew

Rachael Blampied as Nancy Wake.

 

 

Best known for her 10 month role as sociopathic villain Bree Hamilton in Shortland Street (sister to the character Brooke Freeman played by Beth Allen). Rachael is an Auckland-based actor who has also appeared in the NZ version of Underbelly, and had roles in Bliss and The Almighty Johnsons. She has also appeared in many theatre productions and is a regular ‘voice performer’ for Pacific Renaissance productions such as Spartacus

Owen Black as Henri Fiocca (Nancy’s Husband)


Born in Twizel, schooled in Christchurch, Owen moved to Auckland in 1995 to pursue a career in acting. He has worked in a number of theatre, film and television productions and Owen is most well-known as the evil surgeon, Doctor Ethan Pierce on Shortland Street for which he was a finalist for the "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" at the 2009 Qantas Films and Television awards. He has appeared in NZ productions like Street Legal, Mercy Peak, Maddigan’s Quest and Blue Rose, as well as the recent feature film, How To Meet Girls From A Distance

Supporting Cast:

Most of the supporting parts in the programme are played by Wellington actors, usually very well known in theatre. Richard Chapman plays a slightly comedic French resistance leader Henri Tardivat. Richard has a lead role in the upcoming telefeature Field Punishment Number 1. Tall Wellington actor Aaron Cortesi plays a resistance fighter called simply Marcel. Other well known Wellington actors include William Kircher (Resistance leader ‘Gaspard’), John Bach (Mr Fiocca Snr) and Gavin Rutherford (radio operator Dennis Rake) also have supporting roles in the programme.

 

(L-R – Richard Chapman, William Kircher, Gavin Rutherford and Aaron Cortesi.)

Contact the producer, Gary Scott