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Production begins on BBC drama ‘My Mother and Other Strangers’ in Northern Ireland
19 Feb 2016 : Seán Brosnan
Writer Barry Devlin
Filming has begun in Northern Ireland on BBC One’s new drama series, ‘My Mother and Other Strangers’, written by Barry Devlin (‘Ballykissangel’, ‘Darling Buds of May’) and with a cast led by Hattie Morahan (The Outcast, Beauty and the Beast) as Rose Coyne.

Set in Northern Ireland during World War Two, ‘My Mother and Other Strangers’ follows the fortunes of the Coyne family and their neighbours as they struggle to maintain a normal life after a huge United States Army Air Force (USAAF) airfield with 4,000 service men and women lands in the middle of their rural parish in 1943.

At the heart of the series is an ongoing love story that enfolds Rose and her husband Michael Coyne in a dangerous love triangle with a handsome and charming USAAF liaison officer, Captain Dreyfuss. Owen McDonnell (Single-Handed) plays Michael and Aaron Staton (Mad Men) plays Captain Dreyfuss. Meanwhile, the Coyne’s children, sixteen year old Emma (Eileen O’Higgins, Brooklyn), Francis, ten, and Kate, seven, have no idea of the strains under which their parents’ marriage creaks.

Also joining the cast are Des McAleer (Hunger), Seamus O’Hara (6 Degrees) and Ryan McParland (The Survivalist) as the neighbouring Hanlon family, whose frustration at being displaced from their family home by the airfield is well vented. Kerr Logan (Game of Thrones) plays Failey, local fisherman and boyfriend to Sally Quinn (Fiona O’Shaugnessy, Utopia) who along with her brother Barney (Gavin Drea, What Richard Did) works on the Coyne’s farm. Charles Lawson (Coronation Street) plays the Parish doctor, Dr Black.

Stephen Wright, Head of Drama for BBC Northern Ireland says; “I’m delighted that Hattie Morahan will be leading our brilliant cast as Rose Coyne. Barry Devlin’s scripts are formed by his love of life with all its complexities, and a love for the place and people where he grew up. The scripts are in safe hands with the cast and our producer Grainne Marmion. Adrian Shergold will do a brilliant job bringing this unique time and world to life.”

Barry Devlin, writer, says “I’m really excited about the casting. I wrote the series around Hattie Morahan because she somehow manages to combine a magical serenity with a capacity to be daft as a brush: and Rose, our heroine, combines those two qualities in spades. Watching Hattie work that magic onscreen is a true pleasure. Owen McDonnell, Eileen O’Higgins, Aaron Staton lead a cast who excite me more every time I see them.”

‘My Mother and Other Strangers’ is the first drama commission to be announced since the publication of the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen Partnership Agreement in March 2015. This joint agreement sees the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen work together to invest financially and creatively in developing an internationally competitive screen industry in Northern Ireland. ‘My Mother and Other Strangers’ received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI.

The executive producer is Stephen Wright, Head of Drama for BBC Northern Ireland and the producer is Grainne Marmion (Doctor Foster). Adrian Shergold (Mad Dogs, Persuasion) will direct. The 5 x 60 series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One and Ben Stephenson, former Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.

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