The cast for the BBC and HBO miniseries adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy” has been announced and will include Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie and newcomer Abigail Lawrie.
The BBC One miniseries, being produced in association with HBO, is an adaptation of Rowling’s 2012 bestselling book, which has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. The show will comprise three one-hour parts, with production slated to begin July 7 in South West England.
“Casual Vacancy,” Rowling’s first novel for adults after the blockbuster “Harry Potter” franchise, centers on the seemingly idyllic English village of Pagford. Behind the quaint façade is a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, and teachers at war with their pupils.
Gambon (“The Singing Detective,” Dumbledore in six of Rowling’s “Harry Potter” movies) is set to play Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen. McKenzie (“Notes on a Scandal,” “Shirley Valentine”) plays his wife, Shirley.
Rory Kinnear (“Skyfall,” “Penny Dreadful”) is to play Barry Fairbrother, Keeley Forsyth (“Coronation Street,” “Emmerdale”) is playing Terri Weedon with newcomer Abigail Lawrie cast as her daughter Krystal Weedon. Howard Mollison’s son Miles is being played by Rufus Jones (“Bill,” “W1A”) and his wife Samantha Mollison being played by Keeley Hawes (“Line of Duty,” “Ashes to Ashes”).
Other cast announced Friday include Monica Dolan (“Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa,” “Sightseers”) as Tess Wall; Simon McBurney (“Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy,” “Last King of Scotland”) playing her husband, Colin Wall; Richard Glover (“A Field in England,” “Sightseers”) as Simon Price and Marie Critchley (“In The Flesh,” “Emmerdale”) playing his wife Ruth Price; and Michelle Austin (“Secrets & Lies,” “Another Year”) to play Kay Bawden.
Additional casting will soon be announced for other key “Casual Vacancy” characters, including Parminder, Vikram and Sukhvinder Jawanda; Gaia Bawden; Mary Fairbrother; Maureen Lowe; Lexie and Libby Mollison; and Andrew and Paul Price.
“Casual Vacancy” is being produced by Bronte Film and Television, the indie production company run by Rowling and Neil Blair, who is exec producing with Paul Trijbits (“Saving Mr. Banks,” “Dancing on the Edge”) and Rick Senat. It was commissioned by Danny Cohen, director of BBC Television, and Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama.
Miniseries is scribed by Sarah Phelps (BBC’s “Great Expectations” and “The Crimson Field”), produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts (“The Tunnel,” “The Hour”) and will be directed by Jonny Campbell (“In the Flesh,” “Eric & Ernie”).