Sheridan Smith will star alongside Alison Steadman and Sinead Keenan in a new drama written by Jimmy McGovern and Gillian Juckes.
Based on Juckes’s real-life experiences, Care follows Jenny (Smith) a single mother of two, raising her children with the help of her widowed mother Mary (Steadman). When Mary suffers a devastating stroke and develops dementia, Jenny’s world falls apart, and everything changes for her and her sister Claire (Keenan). Torn between caring for her mother and following her own path, Jenny soon discovers that there could be another option, but it’s one she’ll have to fight for.
The 90 minute drama, which is being made by LA Productions for BBC One, will be filmed in and around Liverpool, a city the cast is familiar with. Sinead Keenan recently won an RTS award for her role in Little Boy Blue, while Sheridan Smith played Cilla Black in the ITV biopic Cilla. Gavin and Stacey star Alison Steadman was born and raised in the city.
Writing for the RTS last month, McGovern discussed the challenges of setting a drama in his home town: “To this day, if you set a drama in Liverpool, there’s a very good chance you’ll be criticised in the letters page of the Liverpool Echo…”
Speaking about the new one-off drama, BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger said: “It’s always an honour to work with Jimmy McGovern, here joining forces with Gillian Juckes on her first script for a television drama. Together they tell a truly remarkable story of one woman’s battle to get the best care for her mother.”
He added: “The cast, led by the wonderful Sheridan Smith, will portray this poignant story with the warmth and gravitas it deserves.”