ITV has cast Penelope Wilton, Sophie Rundle, Angela Griffin and Sharon Rooney in its upcoming new 80s drama, Brief Encounters, about four women striving to find happiness and fulfilment.
Rundle will play Steph who feels invisible until Ann Summers party planning comes into her life. It ignites the ambition she didn’t know she had and grows her confidence.
Married to Terry, played by Karl Davies (Emmerdale, Happy Valley) and with a young son, Steph strives to make something extra of her life via new friendships and the excitement of this new career.
Pauline (Penelope Wilton) jumps in at the deep end when Steph, her cleaner, introduces her to the parties as a way to salve her loneliness. Pauline‘s sunny disposition hides a secret sadness.
She and her husband, local butcher Brian, played by Peter Wight (Our Zoo) deeply love each other but their relationship has suffered whilst he’s concentrated on building his business. Through her relationship with the Ann Summers girls, Pauline steps out from the shadows.
Angela Griffin (Lewis, Mount Pleasant, Waterloo Road) plays Nita whose chance meeting with Steph in the school playground kick starts a sequence of events that will change both their lives.
Nita is a mix of grit and warmth, struggling to run a household with a husband, played by Don Gilet (EastEnders, Holby City, 55 Degrees North) whom she adores but who frequently strays onto the wrong side of the law, despite his devotion to his family.
Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary, Hector) stars as young hairdresser, Dawn who has a lust for life.
Although bubbly and outgoing, since her mother died she has been trapped, looking after her father and three brothers who all take her for granted. The buzz of earning serious cash with the other women gives her the incentive to finally realise her dreams with fiancé, Russell, the butcher’s apprentice played by Will Merrick (Skins).
“Brief Encounters is a refreshingly different domestic drama taking us back to the wonderful world of the 1980s,” said ITV Director of Drama, Steve November.
Executive Producer Arabella McGuigan commented: “We’re delighted to have on board such a wonderful, inspiring cast to bring Brief Encounters boldly to life.
“Our four central female characters, their associated menfolk, mothers and friends are strong, relatable, surprising and funny and they’ll leap off the page in the hands of our stars. We can’t wait to see the first results.”
Brief Encounters will commence filming at the end of January 2016 in Sheffield.