ITV has set the cast for its Isolation Stories, a series of short lockdown dramas executive produced by Jeff Pope, the BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated producer behind Stan & Ollie.
Each of the four, 15-minute episodes in the ITV Studios-produced series is written and performed by established British drama talent and reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic has changed lives in a thought-provoking and humorous way.
BAFTA-winning actress Sheridan Smith (Cilla) will star in the first episode, Mel, in which she plays a heavily pregnant woman who will have to give birth without the married father of her child, who is self-isolating wth his family. It is written by Gaby Chiappe (The Level) and directed by Paul Whittington (White House Farm).
Karen will feature Ray Donovan actor Eddie Marsan and David Threlfall, the BAFTA-winning star of the UK version of Shameless. Threlfall passes his son-in-law Marsan’s house on his way to the grocery store and peers in to entertain his grandchildren, played by Marsan’s sons Blue and Bodie. Karen is written by Neil McKay (Appropriate Adult) and directed by David Blair (The Block).
In another episode, Mike And Rochelle, Darren Boyd (Killing Eve) and Angela Griffin (Harlots) feature as hypochondriac Mike and psychiatrist Rochelle. Mike insists on an online therapy session with Rochelle, who must calm his anxieties about the coronavirus pandemic. William Ivory is the writer, while Paul Andrew Williams (A Confession) directs.
Finally, Pope will write Ron And Russell, which will feature Robert Glenister (The Aeronauts) and his actor son, Tom Glenister. Ron is unwell with coronavirus, straining his already fractured relationship with his son, Russell, who is trapped and self-isolating with his father. The episode is directed by Louise Hooper (Flesh And Blood).
The actors involved will collaborate with those they are self-isolating with to shoot the stories themselves, working their directors remotely, who will view footage on their phones. This is will ensure that the series observes the UK government’s strict social distancing measures. Pope is the executive producer alongside Tom Dunbar. Isolation Stories is distributed by ITV Studios.
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