Denise Gough and Tom Hughes to star in new BBC Two drama, Paula

Olivier-award winning actress Denise Gough will star in Paula, BBC Two’s new revenge thriller by playwright and filmmaker Conor McPherson. She will be joined by Tom Hughes (Victoria, The Game).

Owen McDonnell (Spooks, Single-handed) will also star in the three-part drama directed by Alex Holmes (Coalition, House of Saddam).

Olivier and Tony-award winning Conor McPherson’s first original television series is a thrilling story about the fallout in a young Chemistry teacher’s life, after her one-night stand with a good-looking but dangerous ducker and diver. There is an instant, animalistic, spark of attraction before they become locked in a dance of mutual destruction. Only one can survive, but their actions will take a terrifying toll on all those around them.

Denise Gough says: “Having worked with Conor McPherson on stage I am so excited to work with him again on this amazing project. He's written a script that I know all of us involved feel very privileged to be part of bringing to life. Paula is a brilliantly complex woman and I can't wait to play her.”

Writer Conor McPherson says: “It’s a great pleasure to work with the BBC and Cuba Pictures on this series. Exploring new ways to tell stories is always an inspiring challenge and the opportunity to weave a drama across three evenings is one I have enjoyed immensely. The trust and freedom they have given me at every step is something every writer dreams about and the astonishing cast they have assembled couldn’t be more exciting.”

Nick Marston, CEO, Cuba Pictures, says: “We are so delighted to be making Paula with our partners BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Worldwide. It’s a particular thrill to be working on Conor’s first original work for television. All the qualities we love in his writing are there in these scripts, combining the everyday with the bizarre and deep humanity with truly unsettling fear. It is also great to be working with Alex again after our very happy experience on the film Coalition. We couldn't ask for a more exciting cast and are looking forward to the start of production.”

Stephen Wright, Head of BBC NI Drama, says: “Conor is one of Ireland’s leading dramatists, and we have always dreamed of working with him. It was a joy developing this story, and we cannot wait for Denise, Tom, Alex and the rest of the team to bring his world to life.”

Filming begins in Belfast in October.

Paula (3 x 60) is made by BBC NI Drama with Cuba Pictures for BBC Two with funding from Northern Ireland Screen. Executive Producers for Cuba Pictures are Nick Marston and Dixie Linder. Stephen Wright is Executive Producer for the BBC. The series is produced by Peter Norris (Line of Duty). Paula was commissioned for BBC Two by former Controller BBC Drama, Polly Hill. BBC Worldwide will handle international distribution.

September 30, 2016 4:29am ET by BBC TWO  

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