Together: James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan to star in BBC pandemic drama
James R | On 16, May 2021
James McAvoy (His Dark Materials) and Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) will star in Together, a new drama for BBC One.
Written by Dennis Kelly (Utopia, Pulling, The Third Day), the film is set in the UK from the first days of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 until present day.
Directed by Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Reader) and produced by Guy Heeley (Locke, Denial, London Spy) and Sonia Friedman (Uncle Vanya, Wolf Hall), it is the story of a family, like so many, who found a way to survive – together. It is the hilarious and heartbreaking story of a husband and wife who are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship through the reality of lockdown.
She, played by Horgan, is a charity worker, a co-ordinator for all of Europe at a refugee charity. She’s the daughter of a dentist father and an ‘old socialist’ mother – the only grandparent still around.
He, played by McAvoy, is a self employed, self-made man who runs a boutique computing consultancy. He’s been forced to furlough his staff and take up growing vegetables – something he’s very proud of.
Athur/Arty is their 10 year-old son, and the one thing that has kept his parents relationship together. Until lockdown.
Kelly says: “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.”
McAvoy adds: “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 comments: “I think everyone who got involved in this film had no intention of doing a Covid-19 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-19 death toll, the tragedy of so many lives lost unnecessarily has not been talked about enough.”