Sense and Sensibility

David Morrissey, Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens, Mark Williams, Janet McTeer and Mark Gatiss lead an all-star cast in Andrew Davies’s romantic, witty and stylish new three-part adaptation of Austen’s Sense And Sensibility, a BBC Drama Production for BBC One.

Sense And Sensibility is a story of two young sisters on a voyage of burgeoning sexual and romantic discovery.

Restrained, rational Elinor Dashwood and the wildly romantic, impulsive Marianne Dashwood are played by sensational newcomers Hattie Morahan (Elinor) and Charity Wakefield (Marianne).

The death of their father throws their privileged world into chaos. With no entitlement to his estate, they are forced to live in poverty. Although the sisters’ chances of marriage seem doomed, attractive men are drawn to Elinor and Marianne.

Elinor becomes attached to the highly eligible Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens, The Line Of Beauty) – but why is he so guarded and secretive?

Marianne attracts both war hero Colonel Brandon (David Morrisey, State Of Play) and glamorous, Byronic Willoughby, played by Dominic Cooper (The History Boys.)

But do these attachments represent true love, or are the men simply amusing themselves with our young heroines? With a sub-plot that features the seduction and abandonment of a 15-year-old schoolgirl – not to mention a duel – the stakes are high.

Multi-award winning writer Andrew Davies (Bleak House, Pride And Prejudice) says: “The novel is as much about sex and money as social conventions. This drama is more overtly sexual than most previous Austen adaptations seen on screen and gets to grips with the dark underbelly of the book.”

Producer Anne Pivcevic adds: “Our version explores the female gaze, the men are very much the sex objects as we follow the story through the women’s eyes. It’s a wonderful mix of youthful passion and warm, funny moments.”

Kate Harwood, BBC Head of Series and Serials, says: “Sense And Sensibility will be a shining example of the strength of the inspirational, creative craft of our in-house drama team.

“It’s a passionate and powerful piece, filled with a rich mix of both emerging and established talent. With Andrew’s fairydust sprinkled over it, the BBC Drama production of Sense And Sensibility is destined to evolve into a classic.”

Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction, says: “This adaptation of Sense And Sensibility is classic Andrew Davies: his writing goes straight to the heart of Jane Austen’s novel and together they create a piece of work that is bold, original, authentic and powerful.

“Together with the wonderful return of Dame Judi Dench to BBC One in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford Chronicles, the serials reaffirm the BBC’s position as the home of intelligent, ambitious drama.”

Sense And Sensibility is filming on location in Berkshire, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Devon until early June.

It is a BBC Drama Production: commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction; written by Andrew Davies; directed by John Alexander; produced by Anne Pivcevic; the executive producer is Jessica Pope for Kate Harwood, Head of Drama Series and Serials for BBC Drama.

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