Life After Life start date and cast from new BBC adaptation

Life After Life BBC air date and who's on the cast

Life After Life is the new TV adaptation of Kate Atkinson coming to BBC Two – here’s all you need to know.

First announced in 2020, award-winning playwright Bash Doran’s (The Looming Tower, Traitors) will write a TV series based on the book for BBC Two and iPlayer.

The cast will include Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace, Jojo Rabbit), Sian Clifford (Fleabag), James McArdle (Man In An Orange Shirt), Jessica Brown Findlay (Brave New World) and Jessica Hynes (Years And Years).

They are joined by Patsy Ferran (Black Narcissus), Harry Michell (Yesterday), Laurie Kynaston (The Trouble With Maggie Cole) Joshua Hill (Small Axe) and Maria Laird (Derry Girls).

Life After Life will start on BBC Two on Tuesday, 19 April at 9PM. and all episodes will be available to watch on iPlayer from the same date.

The series will be directed by Bafta Award-winning director John Crowley (Brooklyn, Boy A).

Sylvie (SIAN CLIFFORD) - (C) House Productions - Photographer: Nick Wall
Sylvie (SIAN CLIFFORD) – (C) House Productions – Photographer: Nick Wall

A synopsis shares: “Thomasin McKenzie plays Ursula Todd, who is born to Sylvie and Hugh (Sian Clifford and James McArdle) one night in 1910, but dies before she draws her first breath.

“On that same night in 1910, Ursula is reborn and survives. Time and time again, living and dying in different circumstances, Ursula is reborn into a new, alternative iteration of life once more.

“This compelling story follows Ursula as she navigates each new life, through a critical era which spans two world wars, an encounter with Hitler and major life events. But what is it that Ursula so desperately needs to stay alive for?

“Can a perfect life ever be lived? Can the course of history ever be changed? Can Ursula save the world?

Thomasin McKenzie said: “I’m drawn to Life After Life because it makes me laugh, cry, clench my fists in anger or whoop with empowerment. Bash has done a stunning job at adapting Kate Atkinson’s masterpiece, and working with John has already taught me a great deal – reinforcing my love for collaborating and creating.”

Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell, executive producers for House Productions, commented: “We feel extremely lucky to have worked with John Crowley and Fiona Weir to assemble such a very special cast – some of the UK’s most talented actors for this wonderful story of Ursula Todd’s many fascinating, joyful, traumatic, amusing and surprising lives.

“And in Thomasin, we have found our perfect heroine for Bash’s beautiful scripts. With her luminous intelligence, she brings an extraordinary maturity to this part.”

Lucy Richer, Senior Commissioning Editor for the BBC, added: “I am thrilled that the brilliant Bash Doran has adapted Kate’s incredible and unique novel for the screen. Our outstanding director John Crowley has brought together a stunning cast, led by the enchanting Thomasin McKenzie, and Life After Life is set to be a treat for BBC viewers.”

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