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ITV has announced casting for powerful period drama The Confessions of Frannie Langton, adapted from the award-winning debut novel of the same title by Sara Collins.
Karla-Simone Spence will lead as Frannie Langton, the drama's young protagonist born into a life of slavery who is fighting to tell her own story. The Trial of Christine Keeler's Sophie Cookson and Downton Abbey's Stephen Campbell Moore join Karla-Simone in the line-up for the murder mystery drama.
Author Sara Collins said: "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."
Here's everything else we know about the period drama so far...
Set against the opulence of Georgian London, the four-part drama 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.
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.
ITV's synopsis reads: "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 searing depiction of race, class, and oppression is written and adapted for the screen by the author, Sara Collins, who won the Costa first novel award in 2019 for her haunting tale of Frannie Langton.
Gold Digger star Karla-Simone Spence will lead the drama as Frannie, The Trial of Christine Keeler's Sophie Cookson will play Madame Marguerite Benham and Patrick Martins as Laddie Lightning. Downton's Stephen Campbell Moore stars as a renowned scientist and husband to Madame, George Benham.
Joining him is Wanderlust's Steven MacIntosh as John Langton and Henry Pettigrew as William Pettigrew.
"It's an absolute honour and dream to bring to life the intelligent, forward thinking, resilient woman that is Frannie Langton," Karla-Simone said. "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."
ITV confirmed that filming is officially underway in Yorkshire, so viewers can expect the drama to arrive sometime in 2022.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton will air on ITV.
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