The frank, fresh and funny six-part drama from CPL Productions is set in the early ‘80s and also stars Peter Wight, Don Gilet, Karl Davies, Will Merrick and Ben Bailey Smith.
Sophie Rundle (“Peaky Blinders,” “Dickensian,” “Happy Valley,” “Episodes”) plays Steph who feels invisible until Ann Summers party planning comes into her life. It ignites the ambition she didn’t know she had and grows her confidence. Married to Terry, played by Karl Davies (“Happy Valley”) and with a young son, Steph strives to make something more of her life via new friendships and the excitement of her newfound career.
Penelope Wilton (“Downton Abbey,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) plays Pauline. Pauline jumps in at the deep end when Steph, her cleaner, introduces her to the parties as a way to salve her loneliness. Pauline‘s sunny disposition hides a secret sadness. She and her husband, local butcher Brian, played by Peter Wight (“Our Zoo,” “The Paradise”) deeply love each other but their relationship has suffered whilst he’s concentrated on building his business. Through her relationship with the Ann Summers girls, Pauline steps out from the shadows.
Angela Griffin (“Lewis,” “Mount Pleasant,” “Waterloo Road”) plays Nita. A chance meeting between Nita and Steph in the school playground kick starts a sequence of events that will change both their lives. Nita is a mix of grit and warmth, struggling to run a household with a husband, Kieren, played by Don Gilet (“EastEnders,” “Holby City,” “55 Degrees North”) whom she adores but who frequently strays onto the wrong side of the law, despite his devotion to his family.
Sharon Rooney (“My Mad Fat Diary,” “Hector”) stars as young hairdresser, Dawn who has a lust for life. Although bubbly and outgoing, since her mother died she has been trapped into looking after her father and three brothers who take her for granted. The buzz of earning serious cash with the other women gives Dawn the incentive to finally realise her dreams with fiancé, Russell, the butcher’s apprentice played by Will Merrick (“The Rack Pack,” “Skins”).
Produced by BAFTA award winning indie CPL Productions, Brief Encounters is created and written by Fay Rusling and Oriane Messina (“Green Wing,” “Me & Mrs Jones”), and executive produced by CPL’s Arabella McGuigan and Danielle Lux alongside the writer-creators.
– EPISODE GUIDE –
Tuesday, May 30
Sheffield. 1982. Married mom of one, Stephanie Kirke, sees an ad in the local paper to run parties selling exotic lingerie for ladies only. This could be what she’s looking for; an exciting venture in order to earn more money. Whilst taking her son, Dean to his first day at school, Stephanie meets Nita; a no-nonsense mother of four, who’s also struggling with her financial situation.
Tuesday, June 6
Two weeks on from Terry’s betrayal, Steph is at the pub surrounded by her new friends Pauline, Widowed Linda, Hellie, Dawn and Nita. Strapped for cash, Steph uses some of her sales money to pay rent.
Tuesday, June 13
Steph goes on an over-night date with Johnny but Terry returns, vowing to make amends and, whilst both he and Steph’s mother Joan know about Johnny, she agrees to a reconciliation with her husband.
Tuesday, June 20
The group of women are excitedly unpacking the new Ann Summers range. Dawn is looking at the dream boat cup-less basque, which she wants for her wedding night – the wheels are in motion for 3 weeks’ time and she is having a “stag do” this Thursday.
Tuesday, June 27
Three weeks later. The women are together at Pauline’s house, sitting round the kitchen table drinking tea and sorting orders. Nita asks Steph if she would mind helping her do a party for her Aunt Debs tomorrow and just as she is about to answer, Dawn (sporting her new Cher hair-do ready for her wedding day) walks in.
Tuesday, July 4
Darkness surrounds the single light on the record player turning as music fills a large empty room. Standing in a huddle in the centre of the space are a confused-looking Nita, Pauline, Dawn, Hellie and Windowed Linda as an awakened Steph in the DJ booth is excited to share her plan with her friends.