SundanceTV and BBC One have set key casting for six-part drama series The Split from Emmy and BAFTA-winning writer Abi Morgan (The Hour) and BAFTA-winning executive producer Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Humans, River), which begins production next week in the UK.
Leading the ensemble cast is Nicola Walker (River, Last Tango in Halifax), alongside Meera Syal (Goodness Gracious Me), Stephen Mangan (Episodes), Fiona Button (Lip Service), Deborah Findlay (Leaving), Annabel Scholey (Being Human) and Barry Atsma (Hector and the Search for Happiness).
The Split explores modern marriage and the legacy of divorce through the lens of the Defoes – a family of female lawyers at the heart of London’s fast-paced and emotionally-charged divorce circuit.
Walker plays esteemed divorce lawyer Hannah, who quits the family firm when her mother Ruth (Findlay), formidable personally and professionally, refuses her promotion. Landing at a rival firm alongside old flame Christie (Atsma), Hannah navigates scandalous affairs, big-figure settlements and fraught relationship battles – coming head-to-head with Ruth and impulsive sister Nina (Scholey) in the bitter divorce of Goldie (Syal) and multi-millionaire husband Davey (Stephen Tompkinson). Meanwhile, the marriage of younger sister Rose (Button) looms on the horizon.
When their estranged father returns after 30 years the sisters are forced to confront their past. Facing the reality of her dad’s abandonment, and reconnecting with ‘the one who got away’ Christie, Hannah begins to question her relationships with the men in her life – including her seemingly contented marriage to the smart and affable Nathan (Mangan).
The six-part series is the first new original production from Featherstone’s indie Sister Pictures for BBC One, co-produced with SundanceTV, and is directed by Jessica Hobbs (Broadchurch, Apple Tree Yard, The Slap) and produced by Lucy Dyke (Black Mirror, Ripper Street). It shoots on location in London.
BBC Worldwide is handling international distribution.