RTÉ has today announced that it and UKTV have co-commissioned Women on the Verge, a brand new scripted six part comedy drama which will air on RTÉ2 and on UKTV’s entertainment channel, W in the UK. The six-part series, which has just rolled into production, will be filmed in London and Dublin and is being co-produced by Merman and House Productions.
Created by The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) is an all-Ireland organisation with a Membership of 1,240 individuals across 14 Chapters of Discipline. award-winning writer and actress Sharon Horgan, and Lorna Martin (on whose book Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown the series is based), Women on the Verge is set in Dublin. The series tells the darkly comic tale of three friends, all career women in their 30’s at various stages of their lives, who share the same nagging concern – that whilst their friends and colleagues seem to be increasingly in control of their lives, their own seem to be moving in the exact opposite direction.
The series will star Kerry Condon (Three Billboards, Rome, Better Call Saul), Eileen Walsh (Catastrophe, Pure Mule, The Magdalene Sisters) and Nina Sosanya (Marcella, W1A, Last Tango in Halifax). Kerry Condon will play Laura, who is in the process of potentially ruining her career in investigative journalism by sleeping with her boss. Her ambitions take a knock however when she appears to be supplanted in his affections by a bright and talented young blogger called Samara. Laura is persuaded by Katie, played by Nina Sosanya, to seek professional help for her many issues in the form of a long-term commitment to intensive psychotherapy with the enigmatic ‘Dr F’ – who will be played by Sharon Horgan. Meanwhile, Alison, played by Eileen Walsh, completes the trio as a character who, after a series of disastrous and border-line scary Tinder-based one-night stands finds herself back together with her ex Martin. Alison is hooked up to an electronic device that measures her fertility cycle and describes sex with Martin as ‘not too bad really, now that there’s some sort of point to it’.
We were huge fans of Lorna’s book ‘woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown’ that told her personal story so compellingly and honestly. We are very happy that we’re finally getting to bring her story to the screen and destroy whatever privacy she has left!
Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan, Co-founders – Merman
The series has been ordered by UKTV’s director of commissioning Richard Watsham and Steve North, genre manager for entertainment and comedy. It is directed by Annie Griffin (The Book Club, Fresh Meat) with Gavin O’Grady (Popatron, I Don’t Like Mondays) as producer. Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan will executive produce for Merman alongside Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross for House Productions, while commissioning editors for scripted content Pete Thornton and Joe McVey executive produce for UKTV.
We are delighted to be working with Sharon Horgan, Merman and House Productions on this Dublin based comedy drama. The writing and performing talent across the series is phenomenal, and we are thrilled to be partnering with UKTV to bring this Irish comedy not just to RTÉ2, but to a UK audience. The fact that UKTV and Sharon were keen produce an Irish scripted comedy is testament to the fact that Irish people are incredibly funny and that we have some of the best creative comic voices around, something we will continue to develop and support at home and internationally.
Justin Healy, Executive Producer – RTÉ