British TV Stars Join J.K. Rowling's 'Casual Vacancy' Miniseries
LONDON – A who's who of British stars, including Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan and Julia McKenzie, have signed up for the miniseries adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.
The show, commissioned by BBC One in association with HBO, will also star newcomer Abigail Lawrie.
The story centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey.
Behind the pretty facade, however, is a town at war: Rich people are at war with the poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives with their husbands and teachers with their pupils.
Gambon is set to play Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen, with McKenzie (Notes on a Scandal) playing his wife, Shirley.
Mollison's son Miles is being played by Rufus Jones (BBC's W1A) with his wife played by Hawes (BBC's Line of Duty).
Kinnear (Skyfall, Penny Dreadful), who recently won an Olivier Award, the British version of the Tony Awards, for best actor, will portray a character by the name of Barry Fairbrother.
Dolan (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Sightseers), Simon McBurney (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy), Richard Glover (A Field in England) and Michelle Austin (Secrets & Lies) have also joined the cast.
The series will consist of three one-hour parts. It is produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production banner run by Rowling and Neil Blair. Blair executive produces with Paul Trijbits (Saving Mr. Banks) and Rick Senat.
The show was commissioned by Danny Cohen, director of BBC Television, and Ben Stephenson, the BBC's drama controller.
Written by Sarah Phelps and produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Hour), Vacancy will be directed by Jonny Campbell (In the Flesh).
Production is set to start on July 7 in South West England.
The book has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide since its publication in 2012.