James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan to star in lockdown family drama
James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan will star as a married couple enduring lockdown life in a new BBC drama.
Together, written by Dennis Kelly and directed by Stephen Daldry, will follow a family from the first days of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 to the present day.
He, played by X-Men and His Dark Materials star McAvoy, is a self-employed, self-made man who runs a boutique computing consultancy, but is forced to furlough his staff and take up growing vegetables.
Catastrophe star Horgan plays She, a Europe co-ordinator at a refugee charity and the daughter of a dentist father and an “old socialist” mother.
Arthur is their 10-year-old son and the one thing that has kept their relationship together until lockdown.
McAvoy said: “Dennis writes so wittily for these characters and his script had me within the first few pages.
“When I heard Sharon was involved with Stephen Daldry directing it was a no brainer.
“It’s a hilarious, heartfelt, entertaining and unconsciously funny exploration of a relationship and a couple facing real tragedy across a year we have all lived through.”
Horgan added: “I think everyone who got involved in this film had no intention of doing a Covid drama but then we read Dennis’ script and changed our minds.
“We shot this in 10 days so it was a beautifully stressful experience.
“Working with Dennis again – and Stephen Daldry and James McAvoy both of whom I’ve admired for years was a joy.
“But it also felt like we were making something important.
“And the fact that it feels like news means that the Covid death toll, the tragedy of so many lives lost unnecessarily has not been talked about enough.”
Kelly, whose credits include Utopia and Pulling, said: “Together is about a couple who totally hate each other, but have somehow found a way of existing together by not talking to, thinking about, noticing, communicating with or being in the same room as each other, then lockdown happens.
“It’s about how humans negotiate their shared experiences when they think they have nothing in common other than staying alive, and it’s about how you can hate what you love and love what you hate.
“And Sharon Horgan and James McAvoy are brilliant in it.”
Together is a Shoebox Films and Sonia Friedman Productions film for BBC Two and BBC Film.