ITV has announced the casting for period drama The Confessions of Frannie Langton.

The four-part drama, produced by Drama Republic and adapted by author and writer Sara Collins from her debut novel of the same name has commenced filming in Yorkshire.

Karla-Simone Spence (Blue Story, Wannabe) leads the cast in the role of Frannie Langton, the drama’s young protagonist born into a life of slavery who is fighting to tell her own story. She is joined by Sophie Cookson (The Trial of Christine Keeler, Kingsman: The Secret Service) as Madame Marguerite Benham and Patrick Martins (Redemption, Blasts From The Past) as Laddie Lightning and in the line-up for the murder mystery drama.

Also set to star in the adaptation is Stephen Campbell Moore (War of The Worlds, The One) as renowned scientist and husband to Madame, George Benham. Joining him is Steven MacIntosh (Rocketman, Wanderlust) as John Langton and Henry Pettigrew (The Danish Girl, The Aftermath) as William Pettigrew.

Set against the dazzling opulence of Georgian London, The Confessions of Frannie Langton, narrates Frannie’s journey from a Jamaican plantation to the grand Mayfair mansion of celebrated scientist George Benham and his exquisitely beautiful wife, Madame Marguerite Benham.

In a misguided and monstrous gesture Frannie is gifted to Benham by the man who owns her, John Langton, and she is employed as a maid in the household much to her chagrin.

As the plot twists and turns, events take a fateful turn as the Benhams are found murdered in their beds, with Frannie lying next to Marguerite. Frannie is accused of murder; a murder she has no recollection of, other than she couldn’t possibly have killed her mistress because she was devoted to her. Dragged away to prison, Frannie attempts to piece together the events of that night.  She is deep into a laudanum addiction and unable to recall what happened.

Will Frannie recall the haunting events of that night?  All she knows is she loved Marguerite passionately and cannot believe she would have hurt her. But if not Frannie, who did commit the double murder? Others have motive, but only Frannie is accused and she will hang if found guilty. What hope does she have of clearing her name?

The Confessions of Frannie Langton has been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill and ITV Drama Commissioner Chloe Tucker. The series will be produced by Carol Harding (Unsaid Stories, My Name Is Leon, Agatha And The Curse of Ishtar) and directed by Andrea Harkin (The Trial of Christine Keeler).

The drama will be executive produced by Greg Brenman (The Honourable Woman, Us, Peaky Blinders), Rebecca de Souza and Sara Collins.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton is Drama Republic’s first ITV commission.

Commented Greg Brenman and Rebecca de Souza: “Sara Collins’ stunning adaptation of her own novel has attracted the most wonderful cast.  We are thrilled to be working with an ensemble of established, emerging and brand-new talent.  And with the brilliant Andrea Harkin directing, we couldn’t be happier.”

Commented Sara Collins: “So many authors write with their dream cast in mind so I was delighted at our table read to discover that ITV and the producers and director had assembled mine! This is an electric cast and I can’t wait to see their work. Every moment of watching them prepare their performances has been wonderful.”

Commented Karla-Simone Spence: “It’s an absolute honour and dream to bring to life the intelligent, forward thinking, resilient woman that is Frannie Langton. Her journey truly is extraordinary and that’s all thanks to Sara Collins’ incredible writing of three-dimensional women. I hold Frannie dear to my heart and I’m really looking forward to unleashing her with Andrea Harkin and our talented cast.”

Commented Sophie Cookson: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining The Confessions of Frannie Langton. Sara Collins has written an evocative, haunting script with complex, multi-faceted women at its heart. I’m delighted to be working with Andrea Harkin again and an incredibly talented group of creatives.”

All3Media International acts as global partner for The Confessions of Frannie Langton, coordinating the drama’s international distribution.

Left to right: Karla-Simone Spence, Sophie Cookson and Patrick Martins

Photo credits (L-R):, Kim Hardy, David Reiss and Lucy Nuzum

Jon Creamer

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