Conversations With Friends by Irish author Sally Rooney to be adapted for TV

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Brian Adam
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The BBC is to continue its burgeoning relationship with Irish author Sally Rooney by adapting her 2017 debut novel Conversations With Friends.

The 12-part series will be directed by Irish film-maker Lenny Abrahamson and produced by Element Pictures for BBC Three.

Conversations With Friends will be the broadcaster’s second project with Rooney, 29.

Its forthcoming adaptation of her 2018 novel Normal People, starring Cold Feet actress Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell, is due to air in spring.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Director Lenny Abrahamson (Ian West/PA)</figcaption>
Director Lenny Abrahamson (Ian West/PA)

That series features Abrahamson as a director and is also produced by Element Pictures.

Conversations With Friends follows two college students, Frances and Bobbi, in Dublin as they forge a strange and unexpected connection with married couple Melissa and Nick.

Writer Alice Birch, who worked on Normal People, will also return to pen a number of episodes.

The BBC did not reveal further casting details.

Rooney said: “I am so pleased to be working with the team at Element, Lenny Abrahamson and the BBC to produce an adaptation of Conversations With Friends.

“I’m confident we’re going to find fresh and interesting ways of dramatising the novel’s dynamics, and I’m excited to watch the process take shape‎.”

Abrahamson said: “I love Conversations With Friends, its depth, humour and freshness, and it’s an honour to be involved in bringing it to the screen.

“I’m particularly happy that my connection to Sally and her work is set to continue.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne in Normal People (BBC/Element/Enda Bowe/PA)</figcaption>
Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne in Normal People (BBC/Element/Enda Bowe/PA)

“Making Normal People has been a singular pleasure and I’m excited to be working with the same brilliant team again on Conversations With Friends.”

Controller of BBC Drama Piers Wenger said: “We are all addicted to Sally Rooney’s writing and will plunder her literary canon as long as she is writing.

“And so, on the back of the taut and tangled Normal People, we are delighted that Sally has entrusted us, and the wonderfully talented people at Element Pictures, with her debut novel Conversations With Friends.

“To top it all, Lenny Abrahamson has agreed to continue his association with Sally to direct.”

Ed Guiney, from Element Pictures, said: “The team at Element have nurtured a burning ambition to bring Conversations With Friends to the screen ever since we first read it.

“We could not be more excited to be working once again with Sally, Lenny, Alice and our friends at the BBC on the adaptation of this utterly exceptional and enthralling novel.”

Filming dates will be announced at a later date.

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