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Element Pictures and BBC Drama to adapt Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends; Lenny Abrahamson to direct
02 Mar 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Sally Rooney's Conversations With Friends to be adapted by Element Pictures and BBC Drama.
BBC Drama has announced the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s critically-acclaimed novel Conversations with Friends, continuing the BBC’s relationship between Sally Rooney and award-winning producers, Element Pictures.

Oscar-nominated Irish film director Lenny Abrahamson will feature as the lead director, while the show will be produced for BBC Three.

Conversations with Friends is Sally’s 2017 debut novel; it is a sharply intelligent story set in Dublin about two college students Frances and Bobbi, and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with a married couple, Melissa and Nick.

This adaptation follows the BBC’s prior adaptation of Sally’s award-winning 2018 novel Normal People, which will premiere in the UK this spring on BBC Three and BBC One. Following her work on Normal People, Alice Birch will be returning to write a number of episodes of Conversations with Friends, with further writers to be announced. Normal People was also directed by Lenny Abrahamson, along with Hettie McDonald, and produced by Element Pictures. It was made in partnership with Hulu.

Speaking about the news, Sally Rooney said:

“I am so pleased to be working with the team at Element, Lenny Abrahamson and the BBC to produce an adaptation of Conversations with Friends. I'm confident we're going to find fresh and interesting ways of dramatising the novel's dynamics, and I'm excited to watch the process take shape‎."

Director Lenny Abrahamson said:

“I love Conversations with Friends, its depth, humour and freshness, and it’s an honour to be involved in bringing it to the screen. I’m particularly happy that my connection to Sally and her work is set to continue. Making Normal People has been a singular pleasure and I’m excited to be working with the same brilliant team again on Conversations with Friends.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, added:

“We are all addicted to Sally Rooney’s writing and will plunder her literary canon as long as she is writing. And so, on the back of the taut and tangled Normal People we are delighted that Sally has entrusted us, and the wonderfully talented people at Element Pictures, with her debut novel Conversations with Friends. To top it all Lenny Abrahamson has agreed to continue his association with Sally to direct.”

Ed Guiney, Element Pictures, said:

“The team at Element have nurtured a burning ambition to bring Conversations With Friends to the screen ever since we first read it. We could not be more excited to be working once again with Sally, Lenny, Alice and our friends at the BBC on the adaptation of this utterly exceptional and enthralling novel.”

Conversations With Friends (12x30’) has been commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama and Fiona Campbell, Controller of BBC Three. It will be produced by Element Pictures (Normal People, Dublin Murders, The Favourite, Room) and executive produced by Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Emma Norton, Lenny Abrahamson and Sally Rooney; plus Rose Garnett and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC.

Filming dates and casting will be announced in due course.




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