Catastrophe creator Sharon Horgan is to star in and produce a six-part drama for British broadcaster UKTV and Irish network RTÉ based on the best-selling book Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown by Lorna Martin.
Horgan will appear alongside Better Call Saul and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star Kerry Condon, Marcella’s Nina Sosanya and Patrick Melrose’s Eileen Walsh in the series, which will be co-produced by Merman and Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell’s House Productions.
The series, titled Women on the Verge, is set in Dublin and is a darkly comic tale of three career-driven friends in their 30’s, at various stages of their lives, who share the same nagging concern – that whilst their friends and colleagues seem to be increasingly in control of their lives, their own lives seem to be moving in the opposite direction.
Condon plays Laura, who is in the process of potentially ruining her career in investigative journalism by sleeping with her boss. Her ambitions take a knock however when she appears to be supplanted in his affections by a bright and talented young blogger. Laura is persuaded by Katie, played by Sosanya, to seek professional help for her many issues in the form of a long-term commitment to intensive psychotherapy with the enigmatic Dr F, played by Horgan.
Divorced and single, Katie has recently contemplated a course of IVF to complete her family without a man and have a much longed-for sibling for her young daughter Ella. Meanwhile, Alison, played by Walsh, finds herself back together with her ex Martin, after a series of disastrous Tinder-based one-night stands.
The series, which will air later this year, is based on Martin’s book, which itself was based on her own column Conversations With My Therapist, for British magazine Grazia. Horgan has been working with Martin since 2011 on the project. It will air on UKTV’s W, which recently ordered Anna Paquin-fronted Flack, its first original drama for the channel.
Horgan, and her Merman co-founder Clelia Mountford, said, “We were huge fans of Lorna’s book Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, that told her personal story so compellingly and honestly. We are very happy that we’re finally getting to bring her story to the screen and destroy whatever privacy she has left.”
Pete Thornton, Senior Commissioning Editor for UKTV said: “The chance to bring this project to life for W represents an exciting opportunity for us as a broadcaster, and for W as a channel. We’re delighted to be working with the talented and much in demand teams at Merman and House Productions alongside a brilliant cast – led by the extraordinary Kerry Condon – to delve into the chaotic, sometimes tragic but always gripping lives of Laura, Katie and Alison.”