A new BBC drama set in Northern Ireland is to explore the emotive issues around abortion through the real stories of three local women.
Three Families, from the producers of Three Girls — the multi award-winning account of the Rochdale grooming scandal — is set in 2013-2019, before the recent change to abortion legislation in Northern Ireland.
The drama will centre on the stories of three women and their families as they each fight to have their voices heard. Names and details have been changed to ensure the anonymity of the real-life contributors.
The cast includes Little Boy Blue actress Sinead Keenan, Lola Petticrew from Bloodlands, Amy James-Kelly (Gentleman Jack) and Genevieve O’Reilly (The Dry).
Written by Gwyneth Hughes (Vanity Fair) and directed by Alex Kalymnios (The White Princess, Being Human), Three Families is made by Studio Lambert, who also produced The Nest for BBC One.
Susan Hogg, executive producer, said: “Growing up in Northern Ireland I was always aware of the heated debate surrounding the issue of abortion and this is a story I’ve wanted to tell for many years.
“Three Families goes behind the headlines to tell the true stories of women and girls and their loved ones who have been deeply affected by the law and some of those who worked to change it.”
Writer Gwyneth Hughes added: “I knew the law was different, but I had no idea what that really meant until I went to Northern Ireland and met some of the families involved. I’ve been deeply touched by their experiences and feel honoured to be asked to share their stories. I think the contributors will all be moved, as I am, by the extraordinary truthfulness and emotional depth that these wonderful actors bring to their stories.”
The two-part drama was filmed in Northern Ireland last year and also stars Colin Morgan (Merlin, Humans) and Kerri Quinn (Coronation Street).
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, said: “Following months of detailed research, Gwyneth and the Studio Lambert team will help audiences get an insight into how abortion law has affected many different women and their families.
“Their stories are powerful, personal and memorable.”