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London Payback

Original Title: The Smoke (UK title)

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City lawyer Brad Walker is having the worst day of his life. His high-maintenance girlfriend Sasha has left him for his so-called friend Tom and to add insult to injury, he’s been fired too. On a night out drowning his sorrows with old friend Dean, he overhears a conversation between Phil and Ben – two drug dealers working for small-time gangster Jack – that will change his life forever…

Technical Information

2014; United Kingdom; Crime, Thriller; 94 minutes; DCP (2D), HDCAM-SR; 1.33:1 (4:3); 5.1 mix; Original Language: English; Dubbed Versions: German


Ben Pickering


Darren Ripley


Bruce Melhuish


Ben Nugent, Steven Forrester


Luke Corradine


Simon Maine-Tucker, Sally-Ann Maine-Tucker, Oriana Ornithari, Nabeel Sheikh, Luke Corradine, Jack Nasher-Awakemian


Slate 4 Films Limited


Darren Ripley


Andrew Ornitharis


Philip Charalambous, Chrissie Kounoupa, Christoph Lieber, Ben Nugent, Kyran Speirs, Hana Thalova


Matt Di Angelo


Lili Bordán


Stephen Marcus


Darren Ripley


Alan Ford


Anna Passey


Christian Brassington


Darren has been heavily involved in the film industry since his directorial debut ‘Tragic Irony’ in 1997. The 16mm feature, which he co-produced with Ben Pickering as well as wrote and starred in, was a gangster thriller in the vein of ‘Pulp Fiction’. His second film as director, the black comedy short ‘Oh Little Town of Bethlehem’, starred Richard Harrington (‘Spooks’, ‘Lark Rise To Candelford’) as a funeral director with a morbid plan on how to increase turnover. Darren’s third film was zombie thriller ‘The Gatekeeper’, starring Tim Downie (‘The King’s Speech’, ‘Hollyoaks’) and Craig Kelly (‘Waking The Dead’, ‘Coronation Street’). Darren also developed a hard-hitting, Sopranos-esque series ‘Local Boys’ for ITV Wales. 

Darren produced two further shorts, ‘The Boxer’ (2009) and ‘Wilderness’ (2010) before returning to the other side of the camera to star in ‘The Stranger’ opposite Rachel McDowell (‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Quantum Of Solace’). As well as writing Ben Pickering’s directorial debut London Payback (UK: ‘Two Days in the Smoke’), he also co-produced the film and played the supporting role of the hitman Phil alongside ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ Stephen Marcus and ‘Snatch’s Alan Ford. 

Darren is currently in development on four features: comedy caper ‘Taff’s Gold’, heist movie ‘Going Straight’, horror thriller ‘Shadow Valley’ and film industry parody ‘The Director’s Cut’.


Andrew’s first foray in the film industry began during his time working at a law firm in London (with stints in New York and San Francisco). 

Andrew is a graduate of the London Film Academy and London Raindance Film School and participated on various film and TV projects before setting up Slate 4 Films to finance and produce a number of feature films, the first of which was London Payback (UK: Two Days In The Smoke), starring Alan Ford of Snatch and Stephen Marcus of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels amongst others. Andrew is an alumnus of the University of Oxford, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Bath School of Management. 

Currently he is also acting as Executive Producer on a forthcoming Noel Coward biopic and a theatrical documentary on sustainable development with the same team that produced the BAFTA-winning The Act of Killing and has several other feature films in various stages of production.

coming soon…

pissed of geek

The Smoke at times feels slow and some of the story decisions are questionable, especially the amount of time it takes for the thugs to actually focus on Di’Angelo’s character. It can be forgiven though for the humour it seems to have, as well as the heart put into it. Lighter than the usual gangster flicks, it may be the fact it doesn’t take itself all that seriously that makes it fun.


pissed of geek

developer´s accomplice

The Smoke is another London gangster comedy. It’s not the most original but has some laughs and keeps you entertained.


developer´s accomplice

Culture fix

The Smoke puts some entertaining twists on the usual Brit-gangster clichés and has a lot of fun doing so. A charming lead-turn from Di Angelo and slick, tense direction from Pickering puts The Smoke well above the usual genre-fare.


Culture fix

Following his time studying performing arts at London’s prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School, Matt kick-started his acting career with roles in selection of BBC programs including Harbour Lightsand I Dream, as well as film Telling Lies. In 2006 he secured the coveted role of 19 year old heart-throb Deano Wickes in iconic British soap Eastenders, which positioned him as one of the country most popular male actors on the small screen. 

He was nominated for ‘Sexiest Male Actor’ for two consecutive years at the British Soap Awards. Following his departure from Eastenders Matt has regularly starred as Sean Kennedy on BBC series Hustleas well as appearing as a lead guest in the hugely popular BBC series Casualty. Matt appeared on Strictly Come Dancingin 2007, during which time he became a much loved figure amongst the British public.

Selective Filmography

Feature Film

2010 Following Footsteps

2008 Telling Lies


TV Series

2013 Borgia

2009 Hustle

2006 EastEnders

Lili is fast emerging as a powerful leading lady on stage, film and television productions across europe and the US. Most recently, her first American feature Cherrywas picked up at Cannes for distribution by Warner Brothers. A guest starring role on hit BBC series Silent Witnesscaught the eye of Ben Pickering, director of Two Days in the Smoke. 

Lili is a member and marketing director of Moth Theatre, producing award-winning original productions in Los Angeles. She is a certified Autism Movement Therapist and volunteers for GuiDance Autism, helping children and young adults with autism lead fulfilling lives.

Selective Filmography

Feature Film

2014 Remorse

2011 A Love Affair of Sorts

2011 Zero

2011 Moon

2010 Cherry

2005 The Best Men


TV Series

2012 The River (guest starring)

2011 Silent Witness (guest starring)

Following his training as a young actor at London’s Arts educational Schools, Stephen’s acting career began when he was chosen to star as Moose in 1985’s oscar-nominated My Beautiful Laundrette, a film which has since gained cult status and is seen as a true British classic. The role Stephen is most well known for is undoubtedly that of Nick the Greek in Guy Ritchie’s debut movie Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. 

Following his role in Lock Stock, Stephen returned to the big screen with a bang and has since worked on Hollywood features ranging from Philip Kaufman’s Quills to Ninja Assassin, from Richard Eyre’s Irisand Complete Female Stage Beautyto lowbudget fare like Nick Moran’s The Baby Juice Express. Stephen continues to work extensively in television with recent credits including epic television productions such as Hogfather, period dramas Little Dorrit and Larkrise to Candlefordas well as the hugely popular Doctor Who.

Selective Filmography

Feature Film

2009 Ninja Assassin

2006 Hogfather

2005 Kinky Boots

2004 The Baby Juice Express

2000 Quills

1998 Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

1985 My Beautiful Laundrette


TV Series

2008 Little Dorrit (TV Mini Series)

Alan Ford is a well known face and voice of British film and TV, having appeared in numerous productions since finishing his training at London’s east 15 Acting School in 1973. Perhaps best known today for his roles as the narrator in Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and chief villain Brick Top in Snatch, he has had roles in several other gangster films including British classic The Long Good Fridayand 2011’s Jack Falls. 

Ford has also appeared in cult movies such as An American Werewolf in London, recent Hollywood titles The Exorcist: The Beginningand Chaplin, UK comedy programmes Knowing Me, Knowing Youwith Alan Partridge and The Armando Iannucci Shows, as well as making guest appearances in several other popular TV series including Law & Order, The Billand Casualty. Ford is soon to be seen in the big screen version of The Sweeney with Ray Winstone.

Selective Filmography

Feature Film

2012 Strippers vs Werewolves

2012 Cockneys vs Zombies

2011 The Long Good Fridayand

2004 Exorcist: The Beginning

2000 Snatch.

1998 Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

1992 Chaplin


TV Series

2003 Waking the Dead (guest starring)