SundanceTV’s The Split to Feature Female-Led Cast and Crew
All-new drama The Split begins production in the UK next week with Nicola Walker (River, Last Tango in Halifax) leading the acclaimed ensemble cast alongside Meera Syal (Goodness Gracious Me), Stephen Mangan (Episodes), Fiona Button (Lip Service), Deborah Findlay (Leaving), Annabel Scholey (Being Human), Barry Atsma (Hector and the Search for Happiness) and Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks). The original drama, with a female-led cast and crew, is from BAFTA and Primetime Emmy award-winning writer Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Iron Lady, The Hour) and BAFTA-winning Executive Producer Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Humans, River). 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.
The Split is an authentic, layered and witty exploration of modern marriage and the legacy of divorce through the lens of the Defoe’s – a family of female lawyers at the heart of London’s fast-paced and emotionally-charged divorce circuit.
Esteemed divorce lawyer Hannah (Nicola Walker) quits the family firm when her mother Ruth (Deborah Findlay), formidable personally and professionally, refuses her promotion. Landing at a rival firm alongside old flame Christie (Barry Atsma), Hannah navigates scandalous affairs, big-figure settlements and fraught relationship battles – coming head-to-head with Ruth and impulsive sister Nina (Annabel Scholey) in the bitter divorce of Goldie (Meera Syal) and multi-millionaire husband Davey (Stephen Tompkinson). Meanwhile, the marriage of younger sister Rose (Fiona 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 (Stephen Mangan).
On being cast as Hannah Defoe, Nicola Walker says, “I’m delighted to be joining the Defoe family and walking in Hannah’s shoes as she picks her way through other people’s marriages and relationships, all the while questioning her own.”
Created and written by Abi Morgan, The Split is produced by Sister Pictures for BBC One, co-produced with SundanceTV, and was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content. The series is executive produced by Sister Pictures Founder Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Humans, River), creator Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Hour), director Jessica Hobbs (Broadchurch, Apple Tree Yard, The Slap) and Lucy Richer for the BBC, with Lucy Dyke (Black Mirror, Ripper Street) producing. BBC Worldwide is handling international distribution.