If you cast your mind back to the beginning of the pandemic, what do you remember? Lockdowns, loo rolls shortages and hours spent engrossed in Marianne and Connell’s love story? We thought so. We became obsessed with the complicated, messy and gritty portrayal of the pair’s young love tale, so intimately drawn out in Hulu’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People.
Released in the heat of the first lockdown, the series went on to gain serious traction and saw stars Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones garner more stardom than they could have ever imagined. Let’s not forget the Instagram account dedicated to Connell’s dreamy chain necklace.
As if the 12-part series wasn’t enough to get involved in, Hulu and the BBC revealed soon that they would be adapting Rooney’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends. Fans of Rooney could barely contain their excitement.
Snippets of information have slowly begun coming to the surface over the last year but we can confirm that the adaptation is coming to our screens this weekend! Read on to find out everything we know about the new hit series.
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Expect the series to be gritty, intimate and full of raw emotion that'll tug on your heartstrings.
What’s it all about?
A couple of teaser trailers have landed, along with first-look photos from the new Hulu-BBC series, and it looks every bit as intimate and emotional as Normal People.
For those who haven’t read Rooney’s debut novel of the same name, let us explain. Conversations with Friends follows Frances, a 21 year-old student living in Dublin, as she navigates her way through her early twenties through a series of relationships. Alongside her the whole way is best friend and former lover, Bobbi.
The pair have a love affair with spoken word and often perform on stage in the city. At one of their shows they meet Melissa, a writer, who becomes fascinated with them and introduces them to her husband, Nick.
A series of evenings unveil that the group of friends’ relationship isn’t as easy to understand as it looks at first glance. Sparks begin to emerge between Frances and Nick, and this ultimately tests the bonds of all four of them.
Expect the series to be gritty, intimate and full of raw emotion that’ll tug on your heartstrings.
Who’s in it?
We can expect some really exciting names to crop up in Conversations with Friends. Starring as Frances, the complicated character at the centre of the novel and series, will be Alison Oliver. Excitingly, she went to The Lir Academy in Dublin, the same drama college as Paul Mescal, so we have high high hopes.
Alongside her is Sasha Lane. She’ll be playing Bobbi, Frances’ bestie and ex-lover. You might know her from roles and appearances in The Miseducation of Cameran Post, Utopia and American Honey.
Playing Nick, the husband who becomes a love interest of Frances, is Joe Alwyn. You might recognise him for his roles in The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots. For our younger readers though, you’ll know him for being the heart throb that stole Taylor Swift’s heart and helped co-write on her album Folklore. Lastly, there’s Sex Education and Girls star, Jemima Kirke, who will Nick’s wife Melissa.
If the show is as successful as Normal People, we can expect this cast to become the new rising names of 2022.
Who’s behind it?
As with most TV shows these days, there will be a multitude of directors, writers and producers thrown into the mix, including director Lenny Adbrahamson. The Irish film and television director is known and praised for his work on the likes of Room, Frank and The Little Stranger.
Writer Alice Birch will be returning alongside executive producer Ed Guiney. These four big names were all part of Hulu and BBC’s Normal People adaptation so we can rest assured that we’re in safe hands.
If the show is as successful as Normal People, we can expect this cast to become the new rising names of 2022...
Will the adaptation follow the same timeline as the book?
The 12-part series is based on the novel of the same name from one of the UK’s biggest names in contemporary fiction from the last few years. Sally Rooney’s tome follows two university students as they navigate their way through their early twenties. Their friendship and romantic interest becomes tainted when an older married couple arrives onto the scene.
This new series will follow the same narrative and timeline as the original book. Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, has said that: “Lenny’s deep affinity for Sally’s writing and talent for finding actors to bring her fictional creations to life played a huge part in bringing Normal People so successfully to screen.
“In casting Alison, Sasha, Joe and Jemima, that same flair and instinct is in evidence and we can’t wait to see how they will bring Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa to life.”
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When and where can we watch it?
It’s a Hulu release so UK viewers can expect this to be available to stream on BBC Three.
BBC Three and Hulu have revealed the new hit series will be arriving on screens in May 2022, although an official date is yet to be announced. We’re counting down the days…
Is there a trailer?
The trailer has finally dropped!
Conversations With Friends arrives on BBC Three on 15th May 2022