Stars from Little Women, Heartstopper and Mare of Easttown will join the cast of a new “viscerally thrilling drama” for BBC One.
Dope Girls is inspired by the buried history of post-World War One London, where female gangs controlled the drugs, clubs and bootleg liqueur.
Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown) leads the cast as Kate Galloway, a single mother who has begun a life in the hedonistic Soho criminal underworld, by establishing a nightclub to provide for her daughter Evie (Call the Midwife). Umi Myers (Bob Marley: One Love) plays a bohemian dancer whose world gets turned upside down when she begins performing at Kate’s nightclub.
Little Women’s Eliza Scanlen portrays Violet Davies, a female officer for the Metropolitan police, who has gone undercover to investigate the clandestine nightclubs hidden within Soho.
Dope Girls will also star Geraldine James (Back to Life) as the leader of the Salucci crime family, Isabella Salucci. Accompanying her as members of the criminal family will be Rory Fleck Bryne (This Is Going To Hurt) as Luca Salucci, Dustin Demri-Burns (Slow Horses) as Damaso Salucci, Sebastian Croft (Heartstopper) as Silvio Salucci and theatre actor Eben Figueiredo as Matteo Rossi Salucci.
Rounding out the cast are Nabhaan Rizwan (Juice), Laura Checkley (Screw), Michael Duke (Get Up Stand Up), Ian Bonar (I May Destroy You), Harry Cadby (Everything Now), Will Keen (His Dark Materials), Fiona Button (The Split), Jordan Kouamé (Malpractice) and Priya Kansara (Polite Society).
Dope Girls has been created and written by playwright Polly Stenham, best known for her 2007 play That Face, alongside Alex Warren (Eleanor). The series will be directed by Shannon Murphy (Babyteeth).
Bad Wolf’s Jane Tranter, the series producer, says: “A viscerally thrilling drama that rides through the underbelly of organised crime in the early 20th Century with a uniquely female point of view. Polly and Alex’s visionary fictional take on Soho is as audacious as the world it portrays.”
Dope Girls has commenced filming and will air on BBC One and iPlayer, with no release date yet set.