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The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe

The Thief His Wife and The Canoe
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Music by Harry Escott and Ben Pearson


“Tied in with a jaunty soundtrack and ITV has really pulled off a winner. Just like the original true story, fictional Anne and John Darwin will stay with you long after the episodes end, as you ponder all the unanswered questions the nation still has. It’s quirky, off-beat, hard-hitting and truly memorable.”

– Radio Times 5*


The ITV mini-series soundtrack to The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe. Scripted by Chris Lang (Unforgotten, Innocent) and produced by award winning producers Story Films.

Featuring Bafta-winner Monica Dolan and Eddie Marsan, known for his work with director Mike Leigh, the series is based on the extraordinary and compelling true story of how John Darwin faked his own death. Together with his wife Anne Darwin, John perpetrated one of the most elaborate, devastating and surreal frauds of all time. Faking his death in a canoe accident off the coast of Seaton Carew, North East England, he lived for five years undetected in a bedsit connecting to his wife’s bedroom. The couple reaped the rewards of John’s life insurance and plotted a new life together in Panama, whilst their two adult sons believed John to be dead.

Written by Harry Escott and Ben Pearson, the beautifully colourful score is a perfect match for this darkly comic and tragic fable. The music doesn’t shy away from the fantasy, the absurdity and the painful reality of this coercive marriage and the unforgivable betrayal. And yet, somewhere there is hope of a new beginning for Anne as she tries to rebuild her relationship with her sons.

Harry Escott is known for scoring Steve McQueen’s Shame and Michael Winterbottom’s A Mighty Heart, Road to Guantanamo and Greed. Harry recently won a BAFTA for his music to the BBC drama Roadkill, and he has just completed the score to Uprising – a 3 film series directed by Steve McQueen which is set to air on BBC One later this year. Away from the screen, Harry’s work includes collaborations with P J Harvey (An Acre Of Land), the poet Lavinia Greenlaw, (sound installation Audio Obscura) and the Ora Singers, (O Light Of Light).

Ben Pearson works extensively in film and TV, and frequently with Harry Escott. He contributed arrangements and additional music for The Wedding Guest, Deep State Season 2 and Greed. His most recent projects working alongside Harry Escott have been The English Game, and also, he acted as Music Editor on the Bafta-winning Roadkill.



1. Prelude
2. As Strong as an Ox
3. A Spot of Canoeing
4. Holding On
5. As Strong as a Mouse
6. I Suspected It Was a Lie
7. Waiting For Something To Change
8. Separate Rooms Again
9. White Collar Crime
10. All Falling Apart
11. So Many Dreadful Things
12. Out Of This World
13. Coming Home