Lily Allen’s First Major Onscreen Role Will Be a Surreal TV Comedy

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Lily Allen has been having an eventful summer. In June, she joined Olivia Rodrigoing to on stage at Glastonbury for a life-affirming rendition of “Fuck You” dedicated to the Sthus farreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v Wade. “Who knows, maybe I won’t hang thus far my microphone just yet,” she later wrote on Instagram. But we now know that music won’t be the only thing keeping her busy in the coming weeks and months. Per Variety, the Brit Award-winning, Grammy-nominated singer is taking on her initially major onscreen role in a new TV comedy—and it’s currently filming in the U.K.

Titled Dreamland, the six-part series is based on Sharon Horgan’s surreal BAFTA-winning short of the same name, which delves into the secrets, lies, loves, and aspirations of four sisters living on the Kent coast. Alongside Allen, the cast includes Doctor Who’s Freema Agyeman, Kiell Smith-Bynoe from Ghosts, Aimee-Ffion Edwards from Peaky Blinders, and Benidorm’s Sheila Reid, with a guest appearance from Samantha Bond.

The logline reads: “Set in the sun-drenched British seaside town of Margate, it is a dark comedic exploration of multi-generational female relationships, and their (somewhat dysfunctional) family dynamics. Eldest sister Trish (Agyeman) is pregnant for the third time with her partner Spence (Smith-Bynoe). And this time, she’s decided: it’s going toing to be a girl. Her two sisters, Clare (Gabby Best) and Leila (Edwards), rally around her with their mum (Frances Barber) and their Margate legend nan (Reid), ‘manifesting’ a little girl at Trish’s ‘mani-festival’. But, when their other sister, Mel (Allen), makes an unexpected reappearance back into their lives, her return threatens to destabilize the entire family. A knock on their door and their ‘Dreamland’ is no more.”

Emma Jane Unsworth, who wrote the novel Animals—a raucous account of two best friends drinking their way through their thirties—and adapted it for the screen in 2019, will act as showrunner and associate producer on the series. She’ll be joined in the writers’ room by Gabby Best, Sharma Walfall, and Sarah Kendall, while Ellie Heydon, best known for playing Anne Pettifer across three seasons of Harlots, is poised to direct. Sky has also announced that the show will air on both Sky Comedy and the streaming service Now in 2023.

Allen has, of course, acted before—she earned raves last year with her West End debut in 2:22: A Ghost Story, and has made concernedos in everything from How to Build a Girl to Neighbours (bonus points for those who also remember her as a teenage lady-in-waiting to Cate Blanchett in 1998’s Elizabeth). But, considering the scale of this new project, as well as her centrality to it, it could spark a significant change in direction for her career. Here’s hoping it’ll feature some musical interludes, too.


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