'Babyteeth’ Director Shannon Murphy to Helm 'The Strays' TV Adaptation

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Shannon Murphy

The limited-run series will be adapted by Beatrix Christian from Emily Bitto’s novel.

In-demand Australian director Shannon Murphy is attached to helm a new Australia-U.K. co-production that’s based on Australian author Emily Bitto’s 2015 prize-winning novel The Strays. 

The female-led project will see Sonia Borella for Australia’s See Pictures and Jo Monk from the U.K.’s Apogee Pictures producing the 6 x 1 hour series, from a script penned by writer Beatrix Christian (Picnic at Hanging Rock, Hearts and Bones, Jindabyne). 

Murphy, whose feature debut Babyteeth premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival, is currently working on Season 3 of hit series Killing Eve.

Inspired by the Heide Circle, The Strays explores what happens when a violent act in the past of a subversive group of artists is linked to the death of a young woman in the present. One of those involved must decide whether to expose a now influential member of the establishment, in order to prevent further tragedy. The psychosexual drama is set against the hedonistic art world of 1930s Sydney, and 1970s London during the rise of the feminist movement. 

Borella and Monk said, “We’re thrilled to be collaborating in adapting Emily Bitto’s brilliant and timely novel. To be working with some of Australia’s most formidable and exciting talent is a testament to the strength of the material.” 

Christian describes the novel as “an incendiary device beautifully disguised as a girl’s memoir and it is absolutely current. It explores a frightening blind-spot in the worldview of people who are otherwise progressive.”

No broadcaster for the series is yet attached. Borella and Monk are attending the upcoming Content London where they will be meeting with potential partners.