The BBC have released full details of the star-studded cast for new five-part drama The Secrets.
Olivia Colman (The 7.39, Exile, Broadchurch), Alison Steadman (The Syndicate, Gavin & Stacey) and Steve Oram (Sightseers) were announced last month as starring together in the first of two episodes written by Nick Payne, but now the cast has been confirmed for the full run.
Actress and writer Sarah Solemani (Him & Her, Bad Education) will star in her own self-written film, with Helen Baxendale (Cuckoo, Kidnap and Ransom) Anthony Welsh (My Brother The Devil, Red Tails) and Paige Meade (Waterloo Road, Attack The Block) confirmed for an episode by Ben Ockrent.
Juliette Howell, Head of Television for Working Title Television, says: “I’m thrilled that Dominic has assembled such a stellar line up. It’s hugely exciting to see so many of our finest actors bringing these original and distinctive new voices to life on BBC One.”
Producer Guy Heeley says: “It’s really exciting to see these bold and ambitious stories being brought to life in such a compelling way by this incredibly high-calibre cast.”
All five films are directed by BAFTA-winning Dominic Savage (True Love, Freefall, Dive) who is working alongside four of Britain’s best upcoming writers fresh to television drama.
Each film takes an inciting incident, and from this starting point, five different stories are told in five distinctive and original voices.
Episode one by Elinor Cook
Winner of the George Devine Award 2013 for Most Promising Playwright, Elinor recently collaborated on a play with Joe Ward Munrow, and last year was part of Paines Plough’s The Big Room in association with Channel 4. Elinor Cook’s episode starring Joanne Froggatt, Ben Chaplin and Emilia Fox tells the story of a man who is married to two women, and, living a secret double life between them, is exposed. It explores whether monogamy is ever a realistic proposition.
Episode two by Nick Payne
Nick Payne’s play Constellations, directed by Michael Longhurst and starring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins, was nominated in 2012 for the Olivier Award for Best New Play. His first episode, starring Olivia Colman, Alison Steadman and Steve Oram, tells the story of a vet expecting her first child, who has all the chemicals to put pets to sleep, and a mother who is chronically ill and wanting to die.
Episode three by Ben Ockrent
Ben’s first play, The Pleasure Principle, was staged at the Tristan Bates Theatre in October 2007. He has also penned episodes of Waterloo Road and E4’s Youngers.
A girl turns up out of the blue claiming to be an unknown sister to a boy, but things are not quite what they seem. Starring Helen Baxendale, Anthony Welsh and Paige Meade.
Episode four by Nick Payne and Dominic Savage
In Nick Payne’s second episode starring Ashley Walters, a police officer is dealing with the fact that his wayward brother has just returned after being away for six months, and an apparent betrayal leads to an unlikely confrontation.
Episode five by Sarah Solemani
Best known for her role as Rosie Gulliver in BBC Three comedy Bad Education, Sarah’s writing talents span theatre, TV, film and radio, including plays that have been showcased at the Old Vic and Soho Theatre.
Starring Sarah Solemani in her self-written film, episode five joins a bride on the eve of her wedding when she discovers her fiancé was once accused of a shocking crime.
The 5×30-minute series is currently filming in London and will transmit on BBC One later this year.