The Virtues is a new drama from Channel 4 - who's on the cast and what's it all about?
Written by Shane Meadows, The Virtues is described as a "powerful, bold drama that tackles themes of repressed memory, apocalyptic revenge and the hope of redemption".
The series follows Joseph, a barely on-the-wagon alcoholic whose precarious reality is knocked for six when his ex-partner moves abroad with their young son, from Liverpool to Australia, for a better life.
With no immediate family to live for, Joseph is haunted by a past he has tried, for decades, to forget – if not actively obscure with drink and drugs.
Suffering the hangover from hell – the dry spell over – he walks away from his present life and boards a boat bound for Ireland to confront hazy, fear-inducing memories from a childhood spent in the care system that he’s had to forget.
The four-part series aired Wednesdays at 9PM on Channel 4. You can watch episodes and stream online or catch up via the All4 player.
You can also pre-order The Virtues DVD which will be released on June 24, 2019.
The Virtues cast
- Joseph - Stephen Graham
- Anna - Helen Behan
- Michael - Frank Laverty
- Craigy - Mark O’Halloran
- Dinah - Niamh Algar
- David - Vauxhall Jermaine
- Debbie - Juliet Ellis
Written by Shane Meadows and Jack Thorne, The Virtues is directed by Meadows and produced by Mark Herbert and Nickie Sault. The music comes fromy multi-award-winning British composer and recording artist, PJ Harvey.
The Virtues spoilers
Returning to Ireland, emotionally and physically wrecked, Joseph reunites with an incredulous Anna, the sister he hasn’t seen since childhood.
Anna persuades her wary husband Michael to let Joseph stay and give him work in the family-owned building company.
There, Joseph is forced to directly confront the demons of his past when he comes face to face with Craigy, a shadowy figure who is dogged by dark rumours, and who won’t leave Joseph alone.
Joseph’s precarious family reunion is further complicated when he is immediately drawn to Michael’s fiery sister Dinah. Angry and lost, Dinah is fiercely guarded, and, like Joseph, haunted by a deeply-held secret.
Deftly addressing challenging themes of revenge, redemption and repressed memory, Shane Meadows and co-writer, BAFTA-winning Jack Thorne, ask questions of what it really means to be, and have, family.
In the final episode, Joseph and Dinah finally get the answers they have been searching for. They each have to decide whether to seek their own justice, or to forgive.
The Virtues airs Wednesdays at 9PM on Channel 4.