Stellar cast announced for BBC One’s LIFE, an original drama from the team behind Doctor Foster

It’s fitting that such an exceptional ensemble cast should be drawn together by Mike Bartlett’s extraordinary scripts. This is a beautiful, tender, funny, and unexpected emotional rollercoaster of a show.Ben Irving, Executive Producer, BBC One
Date: 10.07.2019     Last updated: 10.07.2019 at 00.01
Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey), Peter Davison (Doctor Who), Adrian Lester (Trauma), Victoria Hamilton (Doctor Foster), Rachael Stirling (The Bletchley Circle) and a host of British acting talent will star in LIFE, an enthralling new drama which has begun filming in Manchester.

Created and written by Mike Bartlett and produced by Drama Republic for BBC One, the six-part drama follows the stories of the residents of a large house in Manchester, divided into four flats.

As each of the four separate strands unfolds, in relatable yet surprising ways, they tell a larger story about what happens when we step out of our personal space and take a closer look into other people’s lives. LIFE explores love, loss, birth, death, the ordinary, the extraordinary and everything in between.

Gail (Alison Steadman), married to Henry (Peter Davison), is about to celebrate her 70th birthday when a chance encounter throws her whole life into question.

David (Adrian Lester) is happily married to Kelly (Rachael Stirling), but is conflicted by temptation when he meets the impulsive Saira (Saira Choudhry) on holiday.

Pilates teacher Belle’s (Victoria Hamilton) neatly ordered life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of her chaotic 15 year-old niece Maya (Erin Kellyman).

Heavily pregnant Hannah (Melissa Johns) - who is happily coupled up with safe and stable Liam (Joshua James) - has her plans upended by the return of Andy (Calvin Demba), with whom she had a passionate one-night stand nine months previously...

The cast also includes Elaine Paige (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Susannah Fielding (This Time With Alan Partridge).

Alison Steadman says: “Mike Bartlett is a brilliant writer and has created an extraordinary character in Gail. I’m delighted to be playing her in LIFE.”

Mike Bartlett says: “This show is all about a group of remarkable characters with unexpected desires and hidden secrets, in search of something beyond their everyday lives. It’s just wonderful to have this fantastic cast to tell those stories, and to be working again with Drama Republic for the BBC.”

Ben Irving, Executive Producer for BBC One, says: “It’s fitting that such an exceptional ensemble cast should be drawn together by Mike Bartlett’s extraordinary scripts. This is a beautiful, tender, funny, and unexpected emotional rollercoaster of a show and we can’t wait to bring it to audiences on BBC One.”

Roanna Benn and Jude Liknaitzky, Executive Producers for Drama Republic, add: “We are so happy to be reunited with Mike post-Doctor Foster, and cannot wait to see his stories about the bigness, smallness and uncontrollable nature of life come alive in the hands of this exceptional cast.”

LIFE is a 6x60’ series for BBC One, executive produced by Roanna Benn, Jude Liknaitzky and Mike Bartlett for Drama Republic and Ben Irving for BBC One. It will be produced by Kate Crowther. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard will direct the first three episodes and Kate Hewitt the second three episodes. BBC Studios will handle international distribution. Filming has begun in Manchester.

Image Credit: Claudia Leisinger

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