Roger Allam as Ted in The Hippopotamus © Electric Shadow Company, 2016

The Hippopotamus in theatres and on DVD

Disgraced poet Ted Wallace (Roger Allam) is summoned to his friends Lord and Lady Loganʼs (Matthew Modine and Fiona Shaw) country manor, Swafford Hall, to investigate a series of unexplained miracle healings. Ted tracks down the perpetrator of the phenomena, fifteen year old David Logan (Tommy Knight), whose parents believe he has healing hands. Unaware that David is using some unorthodox methods, the Logans are set on sharing their sonʼs ʻgiftʼ with the world. With a poetʼs passion for the truth, Ted hurries to debunk the miracles and save a young man from a lifetime of embarrassment.Tommy Knight and Roger Allam © The Hippoptamus, 2017

The Hippopotamus is based on an epistolary novel by Stephen Fry and is directed by John Jencks, who has wanted to adapt the book to screen ever since he found it on a guest room bedside table ten years ago.

In cinemas and on dvd soon

There will be advanced screenings in 76 cinemas on the 28th May. The film is followed by a Q&A with Stephen Fry, Blanche McIntyre, Fiona Shaw, John Jencks and Roger Allam, live by satellite from Hay Literary Festival. The event is hosted by film critic Mark Kermode (Missed it? Watch the interview on Hay Player). The Hippopotamus opens nationwide a few days later (check here for a cinema near you) and will be released on dvd on the 3rd of July.

Signed poster competition

Win a poster signed by the cast! Tweet @HippoTheMovie a photo of the film’s poster at your cinema.

Signed book competition

Simply retweet or comment on Facebook to win a signed copy of the novel (full terms and conditions for the competitions here).


This adaptation of Stephen Fry’s novel leans heavily on the elegant profanity of the source material. An extensive voiceover from disgraced poet-turned-critic Ted Wallace (Roger Allam) contains such mellifluous venom that it alone is almost worth the ticket price.
The Guardian, June 4

A towering, at times monumentally good central performance from the character actor Roger Allam stands at the heart of The Hippopotamus.
– The Times, June 2

(Stephen Fry)’s dry, PG Wodehouse-esque wit is all over this off-the-wall, cheerfully foul-mouthed movie. If it has the air of an old-fashioned Merchant Ivory production – posh people, rolling hills, horses, that kind of thing – then it’s at least served up with a pleasing side order of acidic humour.
Den of Geek, June 2

Has there ever been an actor better suited to delivering despairing “Fuck me”s?
– The Guardian, June 1

official website || @HippoTheMovie || trailer || trailer 2 || clip : intro|| clip: theatre scene || clip: it’s on me || clip: that’s a smeller ||  clip: Ted and Rebecca’s reunion || clip: footprints || clip: dinner scene || clip: Oliver’s cure ||  clip: doctor’s scene || red carpet interviews || talking to Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode || BBC2 interview || LOCO Film Festival Q&A || the cast talks about British comedy || Behind the scenes: eating cake || gallery || buy the book || buy the dvd on Amazon || buy on iTunes

2 thoughts on “The Hippopotamus in theatres and on DVD

  1. Here’s to Ted Wallace
    In his decline.
    Out of employment
    Poet no longer –
    Over the hill.
    Told to discover
    Answers to
    Miracles, he
    Understood all.
    Stupendous – such skill!

  2. British mysteries have become cliche on U.S. public television, almost as tiresome as John Tesh musical events as they are tired and formulaic. The Hippopotamus, however, is superb; the writing and Roger Allam’s performance deliver at a consistently high level throughout the movie. I wish this were a series on public TV.

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