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HBO, BBC One Order ‘Shibden Hall’ from Sally Wainwright

Variety logo Variety 3/5/2017 Debra Birnbaum
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HBO and BBC One have teamed up on a new project: “Shibden Hall,” an eight-part drama created and written by Sally Wainwright (“Last Tango In Halifax,” “Happy Valley”).

Set in West Yorkshire in 1832, “Shibden Hall” is the story of landowner Anne Lister. Returning home after years of travel, Anne determines to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home in Halifax. To do so, she must marry well. But she has no intentions of marrying a man — she plans to marry a woman.

“Anne Lister is a gift to a dramatist. She is one of the most exuberant, thrilling and brilliant women in British history, and I can’t wait to celebrate her” said Wainwright. “To bring Anne Lister to life on screen is the fulfillment of an ambition I’ve had for twenty years.”

Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming, said, “We are thrilled to partner with the extraordinarily talented Sally Wainwright on this epic story and delve into the exceptionally unique life of Anne Lister.”

Said Piers Wenger, controller of commission for BBC Drama, “The originality and ambition of the writing in ‘Shibden Hall’ is Sally Wainwright at her boldest and best. In dramatizing the life and loves of Anne Lister, Sally might just have found her most complex and uncompromising female character yet.”

Wainwright will direct the series, and will serve as executive producer along with Faith Penhale for Lookout Point and Piers Wenger for BBC One.

Filming will start in Yorkshire next year.

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