After the death of her mother, Claire Jameson makes a shocking discovery whilst clearing out the house. She's soon propelled on a journey to uncover the past, one which takes the audience from the 1970s to the present day. Directed by Esther Hegarty, 'To The Grave' is a compelling tale of dark family secrets and fractured relationships.

Esther Hegarty - Director


This compelling short tells the story of a woman searching for answers, searching for newly discovered family connections, searching for sanity after a gruesome discovery. In a little under 20 minutes Director Esther Hegarty gives us a riveting depiction of shock to pain, confusion to clarity and hope to heart-warming completeness, insightfully exploring the journey from the death of her mother to the unearthing of a whole new family line.

This short film explores family heartache with the key themes of relationships, internal battles and dark secrets. The director and writer have successfully conveyed the main character’s (Claire’s) uttermost horrors and warranted burdens of the discovery of a baby skeleton following the passing of her mother. The story is raw and has a believable edge.

To The Grave begins with a passage showing Claire visiting her desperately ill mother in hospital, close to death and unaware of her daughter’s presence. As she passes, the scene immediately moves to the sad clearing of her mother’s possessions showing a moody undercurrent of alcohol use and undisclosed secrets. These opening shots drive the viewer quickly to the tone of the story and invite them to wonder and consider as the mood deepens on the discovery of the skeleton, tidily placed in a casket like box.

The main characters, Claire and Jim played by Jane Stanton and Mark Frost, have a loving togetherness overcome sometimes by a simmering frustration fuelled by the painful journey they are about to undertake. Mark plays the role of supporter extremely well and his understanding and compassion are portrayed excellently as Claire descends into a mild form of personal demons and past addictions. Her portrayal of the grieving daughter and unwilling detective is fabulous and the screen is filled with power and emotion as she goes in search of the truth, a truth that twists and turns along the way, a truth leaving the viewer in a mixed form of thoughtfulness and misguided knowledge.

As the short continues we see the plot unravel with flashbacks to 38 years before to reveal the absolute truth of the past, a past that is written and produced on screen in an excellent and fulfilling manner.

A short that is filled with surprises, a short that is as compelling as it is shocking, a short that leaves us with the thoughts that although a story can be told in a dark and moody setting the light at the end is more than fulfilling and certainly worth the viewing time, some would say it makes us want considerably more.


Esther Hegarty

Esther's won Best Director for her short film "Hero" in the 48 Hour Film Project. She was commissioned by Bafta and Channel 4 to make a short documentary about the career of Richard Attenborough and her last short, Miriam", played internationally in competition.

Melissa Johnson-Peters

Melissa is an award winning independent producer. Her credits include STEAK KNIFE, GIVE, LONGING and CARRION CROW. She also produced MISSING SOMETHING, a 12-episode web sitcom.

Marcus Lloyd

Marcus has written for stage, screen and radio. His works include: the TV play, A Relative Stranger (BBC2, starring Jason Isaacs); the stage play, Dead Certain; and the short film Miriam. His screenplay, Cuckoo was the winner of the Oscar Moore Screenwriting award in 2002.


Lucy Flemming

Old Lucy
Lucy has extensive performing experience including A Collier’s Friday Night as part of the Royal Court Theatre Company and recently As Good a Time as Any at The Print Room.

Emma Bown

Young Lucy
Emma trained at Birmingham School of Acting after graduating from Bristol University. Stage work includes: McQueen and Hayfever, Naomi in Seduced and Serena Love in The Doctors Show.

Jane Stanton

Jane has worked in London's West End with directors such as Jamie Lloyd and Philip Seymour Hoffman and acting greats such as Timothy West, Gina McKee and James McAvoy.

Mark Frost

Mark has worked extensively in film, television & theatre for nearly twenty five years both here & abroad.Mark has worked on Prooi and A Hundres Streets films recently and TV work includes Poldark, New Blood and Silent Witness.

Richard Syms

Richard has extensive experience in theatre, tv and film. His credits include Nowhere Boy, Gangs of New York, The Iron Lady, Secrets and Lies, The Duchess and Far From the Madding Crowd.


Daniel Vincent

Production Designer
Daniel studied architecture & set design at the University of the Arts London and worked with the design team of the London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

James Martin

James was trained at The Met Film school in Ealing, where he was mentored by Paul Wheeler, BSC. James' work has taken him all over the world, from Los Angeles to Nigeria.


Makeup / Styling
After 12 successful years in modeling Vale was given the opportunity of being trained as a make-up artist by the legendary fashion designer and Make-up Guru, Mary Quant.

Jeffrey Michael

Costume DesignerJeffrey Michael is a London based Costume Designer. His work has been showcased in feature film, theatre, advertisement, TV, red carpet, and shown at London, Paris, Brazilian, and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

Full Credits


Esther Hegarty


Melissa Johnson-Peters


Marcus Lloyd

Casting By

Laura Windows

Director Of Photography

J P Martin Mbks

Edited By

Adriano De Mello

Music Composed By

Nina Humphreys

Sound Recordist

Dave Sohanpal

Production Designer

Daniel Vincent

Costume Designer

Jeffrey Michael

Hair And Make Up Designer


A St Catherine Productions Ltd Production
A Silver Cat Pictures Co-Production

Jane Stanton


Mark Frost


Richard Syms

Young Lucy

Emma Bown

Old Lucy

Lucy Fleming

Dc Lamb

Joanna Bending


Jo Cameron Brown

Lucy’s Nurse

Doreene Blackstock

Sophie’s Daughter

Daisy Newman

Mrs Allerton

Hilary Burns

Mother / Claire Body Double

Natasha Girardi

Big Sister

Isla Hussey

Little Sister

Lola Hussey


Eleri Jones


Cameron Gray


Indy Hair


Kasia Uscinska


Candyce Veal

Executive Producer

Jane Stanton

Associate Producer

Carol Wiseman

Production Manager

Anna Hoffmann

1st Assistant Director

Alison B Matthews

1st Assistant Director/3rd Assistant Director

Richard Harris

3rd Assistant Director

Amber Tordoff-Gibson

Script Supervisor

Georgina Higgins

Location Manager

Pamela Pifferi

1st Ac

Alasdair Baines

2nd Ac

Bradley Stearn

2nd Ac

Sira Pocovi

Camera Trainee

Charlie France


Sam Robinson-Horley


Nick Galbusera

Boom Operator

Filipe Pinheiro

Boom Operator

Pablo Valverde

Art Director

Basmah Jolley

Property Master

Danya Gomez-Douglass

Art Department Assistant

William Andrews

Art Department Assistant

Adam Mcgee-Abe

Costume Assistant

Natasha Jones

Hair And Make Up Assistant

Femi Konteh

Sound Editor

Max Walsh

Re-Recording Mixer

Tim Cavagin

Sound Mix Technician

Sophia Hardman

Conform Operator

George Dutton


Max Horton

Online Editor

Matt Pamplin

Di Producer

Marie Valentino

Stills Photographer

Phil Sharp

Legal Advisor

Tim Curtis

Dialect Coach

Maeve Diamond

Production Assistant

Amy Sykes


Eleri Jones


Jack Cuckson

Camera Truck Driver

John Cleary


Darren Hussey

Insurance By

Performance Film & Media Insurance


Deerhurst Road, University Of West London

Production Facilities

Arri Rental, Audiolink, Camera Moves, Cinelease, Sixt, Tee2, Vmi

Film Processing By


Post Production Facilities

Onsight, Twickenham Studios

Re-Recorded At Twickenham Studios
Thanks To

Anne-Marie Dargan, Hackney Council, Merton Council, Merton Film Office, Kingston Upon Thames Council, Kingston Film Office, Hotel Du Vin, Wimbledon, Raynes Park Library, White Hart Hotel, Kingston, Troy Barbecue, Abm Management, Bonnie & Betty, Creative Artists Management, Curtis Brown, Identity Agency Group, Steve Nealon Associates, Lesley Walker

Special Thanks To

Andrew Berg, Michael Birch, Gurvir Dhillon , Irene East, Cameron Gray, Jenny Hawes, Bernard Krichefski, Skye Kidd, Alan Mallyon, Mark Poole, Emily Precious, Michael And Jan Smith, Van Peterson Designs

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