Books / Streaming / Television

Thomasin McKenzie, Sian Clifford and James McArdle set for Life After Life, the adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s novel

It’s just been announced that filming has commenced on award-winning playwright Bash Doran’s (The Looming Tower – which was exceptional!) adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s celebrated novel Life After Life, made by House Productions for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The stellar line up of Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace, Joio Rabbit), Sian CliffordJames McArdleJessica Brown Findlay and Jessica Hynes will lead the cast of the four-part drama, directed by John Crowley (Brooklyn). They are joined by Patsy FerranHarry Michell, Laurie Kynaston, Joshua Hill and Maria Laird.

The super-talented McKenzie plays Ursula Todd, who is born to Sylvie and Hugh (Clifford and McArdle) one night in 1910, but dies before she draws her first breath.

On that same night in 1910, Ursula is reborn and survives. Time and time again, living and dying in different circumstances, Ursula is reborn into a new, alternative iteration of life once more.

This compelling story follows Ursula as she navigates each new life, through a critical era which spans two world wars, an encounter with Hitler and major life events. But what is it that Ursula so desperately needs to stay alive for?

Can a perfect life ever be lived? Can the course of history ever be changed? Can Ursula save the world?

McKenzie, had this to say: 

“I’m drawn to Life After Life because it makes me laugh, cry, clench my fists in anger or whoop with empowerment. Bash has done a stunning job at adapting Kate Atkinson’s masterpiece, and working with John has already taught me a great deal – reinforcing my love for collaborating and creating.”

Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell, executive producers for House Productions, added: 

“We feel extremely lucky to have worked with John Crowley and Fiona Weir to assemble such a very special cast – some of the UK’s most talented actors for this wonderful story of Ursula Todd’s many fascinating, joyful, traumatic, amusing and surprising lives. And in Thomasin, we have found our perfect heroine for Bash’s beautiful scripts.  With her luminous intelligence, she brings an extraordinary maturity to this part.”

Life After Life is executive produced by Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell for House Productions, Lucy Richer and Ayela Butt for the BBC and Bash Doran, John Crowley and Kate Atkinson. The producer is Kate Ogborn (The North Water). It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. BBC Studios will internationally distribute the series.

Life After Life is a 4×60” and will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer; air dates and times will be announced in due course.


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