Conversations with Friends

The production team behind the phenomenally successful Normal People have teamed up again for an adaptation of author Sally Rooney's first novel, Conversation With Friends. Peter Gray reports.

Following the phenomenal success of Sally Rooney’s Normal People, the BBC are now adapting Rooney’s first novel, Conversation with Friends, for the small screen.

Normal People was the BBC’s most-streamed series of 2020, racking up and incredible 62.7M views since it debuted on the platform in April.

The series, which followed the often tortuous relationship of childhood sweethearts Connell and Marianne, made stars of its leading actors, Daisy Edgar-Jones, and Paul Mescal.

It is no surprise then that expectations are running so extraordinarily high for the BBC’s latest adaptation of Rooney’s work, which will be made by the same production team who worked on Normal People. 

With excellent source material, a brilliant production team and a talented young cast, Conversations With Friends looks set to repeat the success of its old sibling. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the BBC’s next blockbuster drama:

What is Conversations with Friends about?

The series follows the story of Frances and Bobbi, a couple of Dublin based creatives with an interest in spoken word poetry. When the pair meet journalist Melissa, the older woman offers them advice on how to break into the world of performance poetry as well as a new circle of friends.

As the trio become closer, however, Frances ends up falling for Melissa’s shady husband Nick – even as he continues to embody everything she has ever rallied against. As the relationship continues, it begins to place a huge strain on her other friendships and also begins to cause tension with her long term connection to Bobbi.

Praised for its interesting take on love and relationships as well as its wit and good humour, Conversations With Friends is sure to inspire strong views in anyone who comes across the story.

The Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning Piers Wenger had this to say about the commissioning of the drama: “It was a decision that made itself. We will commission work from Sally Rooney for as long as she writes it. We think she’s such an exciting voice, in the way that she’s able to write about young people’s lives in a really direct and authentic way, is – her work speaks for itself, really.”

Who is in the cast of Conversations With Friends

In late February 2021 it was announced that Dublin born newcomer Alison Oliver would take the role of Frances in Conversations With Friends, with Sasha Lane playing the role of Bobbi.

Oliver is a graduate of the Lir Academy in Dublin, whose former students include Normal People’s Connel, otherwise known as actor Paul Mescal. The Favourite’s Joe Alwyn has also joined the cast as Nick with Girls star Jemima Kirke set to play the role of Melissa in the series. 

Who’s behind the camera on Conversation With Friends?

The big news here is the reteaming of the award winning team behind Rooney’s last smash, Normal People. Thus, Element Pictures will once again produce the show. Normal People’s co-writer Alice Birch will feature as a writer on several episodes of the new series and the programme’s director Lenny Abrahamson will direct the new series with Rooney will once again serve as executive producer.

Sally Rooney had this to say about reteaming with the production team behind the first adaptation of one of her works: “I am so pleased to be working with the team at Element, Lenny Abrahamson and the BBC to produce an adaptation of Conversations With Friends. I’m confident we’re going to find fresh and interesting ways of dramatising the novel’s dynamics, and I’m excited to watch the process take shape‎.”

Director Lenny Abrahamson said: “I love Conversations With Friends, its depth, humour and freshness, and it’s an honour to be involved in bringing it to the screen. I’m particularly happy that my connection to Sally and her work is set to continue. Making Normal People has been a singular pleasure and I’m excited to be working with the same brilliant team again on Conversations With Friends.”

Where was Conversation With Friends filmed?

Principal photography on the series has not begun yet. Check back here for updates.

Is there a trailer for Conversation with Friends?

There is no trailer available for the series yet, however, we will update this information as soon as one becomes available.

When can we see Conversation with Friends on the TV?

The BBC have yet to set a date for the broadcast of Conversation With Friends, however, we will update this page as soon as a date becomes available.

More information about the BBC’s adaptation of Conversation with Friends can be found here.

For information on other forthcoming TV shows, please click here.

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What: new drama
When: tbc
Where: BBC3