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A very British comedy about fitting in, falling out, getting lost and finding the way back again. 

In the picturesque English market town of Lewes: JOSIE is a dreamer. TONY is a hapless romantic. ALF finds other people difficult to read. Whilst ALISON is seeking answer but asking all the wrong questions. Four misfits muddling along looking for love.

INCIDENTAL CHARACTERS addresses some of the key challenges of modern life - overcoming loneliness, finding purpose and being true to your identity.

JOSIE (Sophia Capasso) has recently graduated from Art School. She now finds herself lacking inspiration and disillusioned, failing to launch her career.

TONY (Steve Watts) is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. Twice married and seeking a new companion, he lets the need for approval stand in the way of true love.

ALF (Howard Perret) lives in a world of his own; everyone else is an alien. With meaning so often lost in translation, Alf stumbles into friendship before falling head over heels in love.


ALISON (Isabella Marshall) is stuck in her lonely habits. In a small town, it is too easy to keep going over old ground. She makes the same mistakes time and again.


Optimistic, funny and heart-warming in equal measure - INCIDENTAL CHARACTERS celebrates the magic of moments and the influence we each have on each other, often without knowing it.


Audience Reactions

Some audience quotes from our preview screenings...

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"I loved it! A love letter to life, loss & Lewes. A bittersweet and quirky window into the lives of four Incidental Characters."

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"Poignant, bittersweet and, ultimately uplifting – my new favourite British indie film."



"There is such an open warmth to Josie. From my first read of the script I was drawn in by her sheer honesty and need to give and receive love. There is something so pure and vulnerable in her which was a gift to play.

I felt a great responsibility of care for my character and Ben’s collaborative way of working and preparing allowed Josie to develop and grow incredibly naturally.


The entire team gave such space and attention - plus many a laugh! - I feel very lucky to have been able to give life to Josie."



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Sophia trained at Young Blood Theatre Company. Her professional stage debut was in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s production of Pride and Prejudice. This was quickly followed by ITV’s Chasing Shadows, Glue for E4 and a leading role in Kindle Entertainment’s award winning series Dixi. Further credits include: Suspects, Channel 5. Doctors, Hetty Feather and Holby City for the BBC. Endeavour again with ITV, and Mammoth Screen, and Candide at the Omnibus Theatre. Feature film Incidental Characters, Toffee Hammer Productions. Multi award winning short film Space Girls, Arcadian Fields Pictures. Most recently Sophia has directed her first film, L’Immigrato, and has now launched her production company TUTTI TUTTI Productions.

Photo credit: Harmoni Everett.

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Isabella Marshall


Isabella trained at RWCMD. Theatre credits include: ‘Mydidae’ (The Other Room); ‘Lucrece’ (The SpaceUK); ‘Woyzeck’ (the Old Vic); ‘Cyril’s Success’; ‘Caste’ (Finborough Theatre); ‘Hamlet’; ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory); ‘Cinderella: A Fairytale’ (Tobacco Factory/MAC Birmingham); ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’; ‘She Stoops to Conquer; ‘Vincent in Brixton’; ‘An Inspector Calls’; ‘Peter Pan’ (Theatre by the Lake); ‘Flowers of the Field’ (White Bear Theatre). TV: ‘Holby City’ (BBC); ‘Shakespeare & Hathaway’ (BBC); ‘Grantchester’ (ITV). Radio: ‘The Real George Orwell’ (BBC Wales). Short Film: ‘Amygdala’ (BFI Future Shorts/Hackney Shorts); ‘La Entrevista’ (NFTS); ‘Thinking in Time’ (Mahogany/Vero).

Photo credit: Chris Mann

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Howard Perret


Howard trained at ArtsEd. His theatre credits include: 'Ma Kelly's Doorstep' (Attic Theatre), 'The Tempest' (Wimbledon College of Art), 'Present Laughter' (Theatre Royal, Bath), 'Black Tuesday' (Wimbledon College of Art), 'Future Conditional' (Old Vic), 'Red Jungle Fowl' (Etcetera Theatre). His film credits include: 'I, Rose', 'The Happy Prince', 'My First', 'Bolt' and 'Reclaimer'. In 2019, Howard completed filming 'Henry VIII' for Channel 5, playing the part of Young Henry.

Photo credit: Michael Carlo.

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Steve Watts


Steve has enjoyed a stage career that has woven in and out of straight and musical theatre. Highlights include a world tour of 'As You Like It' with Cheek By Jowl theatre company, culminating in an Olivier Award winning West End run; Tom Stoppard's 'Jumpers', originating at the National Theatre and transferring to the West End and the NT/Cameron Mackintosh production of 'My Fair Lady', at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and on the UK tour, during which Steve took over the leading role of Henry Higgins. Further West End productions include 'Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking' (Wyndhams) and Mike Bartlett's adaptation of 'Chariot's of Fire' (Gielgud) whilst at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, Steve enjoyed a busy season of Shakespeare ('Macbeth' and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream') and musical theatre ('Lady Be Good' and 'The Boyfriend').

As an actor-musician, Steve has returned many times to the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, where productions include 'Mack and Mabel', 'Merrily We Roll Along' and 'Oliver!' A conscious decision to focus on a late-flowering screen career has seen Steve appearing in a collection of short films and a soon-to-be-launched sci-fi web series but he is especially proud that 'Incidental Characters' marks his feature film debut.

Photo credit: Ruth Crafer.

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Lucinda curtis


Lucinda has a wealth of experience spanning stage, television and film. Lucinda's Film and TV credits include 'Dear John' (BBC), 'Grange Hill' (BBC), 'Doctors' (BBC), 'Casualty' (BBC), 'Winters Ridge' (Feature) and 'Parasitus' (Feature). Stage credits include 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' (Royal Shakespeare Company), 'Sailor, Beware!' (UK tour), 'Lloyd George Knew My Father' (Theatre Royal Bath & national tour) and 'The Flood' (The Hope Theatre).

Photo credit: Chris Mann.

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MARK KNightley


Film and TV credits include 'Maleficent 2' (Disney), 'Holby City' (BBC), and 'Charismata' (Hydra Films). Theatre work includes Learchus in 'The Woman in the Moon' (Shakespeare’s Globe), Edgar in 'Wuthering Heights' (Aberwysth Arts Centre/Theatr Clwyd), Orlando in 'As You Like It' and Antipholus of Syracuse in 'Comedy of Errors' (Guildford Shakespeare Company), and Jack in 'Lord of the Flies' (Pilot Theatre). Mark also co-runs the company Crowded Room, where he has performed in '2030' (with Collusion at Cambridge Junction), 'The Listening Room' (The Lowry, Stratford East, Northern Stage, Theatr Clwyd), 'Space Play' (at VAULT Festival), 'The Four Last Things' (with Theatre Delicatessen), 'Abe & Hans' (Theatre503), and 'The Colours' (Soho Theatre). He is also developing a new play at Shoreditch Town Hall.

Photo credit: Jennie Scott.

Director Statement

Director statement

Benjamin Verrall Toffee Hammer Films

Incidental Characters tackles big themes by focusing on small moments; all the comedies and tragedies that play out in every day conversations and interactions.
I also wanted to show each of the main characters at times when they are alone with their thoughts, in their own worlds. The film tells the story of what happens when these worlds collide - the huge influence we can have on each other’s lives, often without knowing it.


Some people describe film-making as a marathon. For me, it’s more of a relay race. Having developed a script we could all believe in as producers, it was important then to find collaborators who would bring magic of their own. We shared the script early, to attract actors who felt a genuine affinity to each of the characters and went through a comprehensive casting process to get the right mix of personalities. Through trust, you afford people the confidence to bring their best work.


Incidental Characters is my first feature film. It comes after many years learning my craft as a writer and director - both in classrooms and on set. I have had many mentors and worked with people - actors, crew and in post-production - who have challenged and inspired me. For me, like many creative people, the hardest thing to discover is what you want to say. Incidental Characters is about that struggle - being vulnerable and open to finding what it is to be ‘nobody but yourself’. 





Amelia studied at Central St. Martins, Wimbledon School of Art and The Florence Academy. Amelia's film credits working as a sculptor include 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince', 'Hugo', 'Atonement' and 'Batman Begins'.
When not working on films, she sculpts wax figures for some of the world's leading attractions. Alongside commercial work, Amelia creates fine art sculpture for exhibition and sale.



Working across multiple platforms, Joe Kiely is a composer and filmmaker at heart. He has written and conducted music for feature & short drama, TV commercials, documentary series, musical theatre, and opera.  

Based out of London, his music has been the emotional driving force behind award-winning advertising campaigns for CNN International and performed live on international stages from New York's Off-Broadway to Edinburgh's Fringe festival.


His scores have accompanied numerous short films, feature-length drama, and internationally distributed documentary series. In late 2017, Joe began his studies at the Royal College of Music for his Masters of Music in Composition for the Screen as a scholar. 

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Jeremy has worked a Lighting Cameraman/Director of Photography on all main film and video formats. He has had the opportunity to shoot projects ranging from drama and pop promos on 35mm to filming documentaries in some of the least accessible parts of the world. Prior to this he spent several years as a focus puller and camera assistant, first at the BBC then freelancing on documentaries, pop promos & features.

Ruth Marshall


Ruth’s route to becoming a film producer was circuitous – from teenage greengrocer to working in recruitment, training and development. She has worked on numerous video productions for the education sector, including projects involving Medieval Kings, Yetis, Robot and Mime Artists (though not all at once). She brings all her varied experiences to the role of Producer, and relishes the opportunity to problem-solve as well as create.



Kirstie specialises in sound design for films, covering all aspects of sound from pre- to post-production, including location sound recording as well as sound mixing and editing in all genres both fiction and non-fiction.  She has worked on feature films, TV drama, shorts, commercials and documentaries.



Brittany is a hair & makeup designer based in London with 15 years experience. Brittany began her career in the film industry in 2009 as a crowd hair and makeup trainee on the 'Brighton Rock' feature film for multi-award winning hair and makeup designer, Ivana Primorac. Other productions include: Love Productions’ 'Bake Off: The Professionals' and 'ITV Scrambled!' When Brittany is not working in film, television, documentaries, music videos, TV commercials, digital, e-commerce and live broadcast – she works as a freelance hair and makeup artist for companies including: Audi, Swatch, Apple, Thomas Cook Airlines, Universal Music Group, Deezer, Boux Avenue, SanDisk and Zovirax.



Thomas is MD of Brown Bear Audio, a full service sound post production facility who provide audio services to producers working in broadcast, film, digital, radio, animation, corporate and multimedia markets.

Thomas was responsible for the sound design and mix of Incidental Characters in both stereo and 5.1 surround. He has over 15 years' experience and works from his suite in Brighton using Avid Pro Tools. Recent clients include Wall to Wall, Nike, BBC, True North Productions and Ricochet. 



Darren is MD of Online Creative, a creative agency and boutique post production and television/film colour grading facility in central Brighton, UK. He regularly grades for the BBC and commercials for the likes of Clinic and Saatchi's. 


Darren grades uses a DaVinci Resolve grading suite, with the full DaVinci control surface, Grade 1 broadcast calibrated monitors to give the best grading experience in Brighton. He has produced, edited and graded programmes for broadcast and corporate markets for nearly 20 years, specialising in delivering high production value to all programmes.

"I really enjoyed helping Ben bring the characters he has created to life, through their clothes and props, and the spaces they inhabit. I hope the film visually shows off our beautiful home town of Lewes. Every day of filming was such fun. All the cast and crew were brilliant...and I got to make puppets, cardboard spaceships and robots!”


“Incidental Characters was a joy to work on. From its interesting characters, brilliant puppets and great costumes, all set against the beautiful back drop of Lewes, it should make for a very enchanting film."





Toffee Hammer Productions
Studio 5, Star Brewery,

Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes,

East Sussex, BN7 1YJ

Tel: +44 (0)1273 472885

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