Wales has emerged in recent years as a major U.K. production hub; “Sherlock,” and “Doctor Who” are both made there. In terms of comedy-drama, James Corden and Ruth Jones’ Wales- and England-set comedy “Gavin and Stacey” was a big hit in the U.K.
Now Rhys, who is Welsh, will star in another comedy project with a connection to his native land. Playing Dai Hyatt, he appears alongside Jan Anderson, seen recently in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” who plays an employee at the caravan site.
Rhys is best-known for his starring role in FX’s espionage thriller “The Americans,” for which he garnered an Emmy nomination. He has also appeared on TV in “Brothers & Sisters” and “Death Comes to Pemberley,” and guest-starred in HBO’s “Girls” earlier this year.
Jerry and Kay Lockett’s Wales-based indie Happy Campers Productions made the crowd-funded pilot of “Down the Caravan” and will produce the series, which was written by Kay. Welsh actor-director Sara Sugarman (“Mr. Nice”) will direct. It does not have a confirmed broadcast or streaming partner, but is close to sealing a deal with a major British player.
“Down the Caravan” opens as Rhys’ character dies following vigorous extramarital relations, opening up a series of events that take in the local town, the caravan site, and a cast of characters including Maxine Evans (“Stella”), Sarah Harris-Davies (“Dim Ond y Gwir”), and Vas Blackwood (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”).
Although dead, Rhys will appear throughout the show’s run if it is picked up, as it transpires that he recorded a series of messages before his death. He will also executive produce the series. Cheryl Davies Keatley will produce and Jerry Lockett will be an associate producer.