Steve Pemberton to adapt EF Benson’s ‘Mapp And Lucia’ for BBC1

New comic drama exposes small town snobbery

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Steve Pemberton (Inside No 9, Psychoville, The League Of Gentlemen), is to adapt EF Benson’s Mapp And Lucia, about a the small pretentious English town of Tilling for BBC One.

It takes place over the summer of 1930 when Mrs Emmeline Lucas, known to her friends as Lucia, decides to take a holiday in the charming Queen Anne town of Tilling…

Writer Steve Pemberton says: “As a long-time fan of EF Benson’s ‘Mapp And Lucia’ novels, I’m incredibly proud and privileged to be scripting a brand-new adaptation for the BBC.

“I feel sure viewers will relish their time in Tilling, and will enjoy watching the slyly scheming Mapp take on the gloriously haughty Lucia in a dizzying round of bitter bridge parties, devious dinners and malicious musical evenings.

“Benson’s deplorably funny novels and cast of subversive, eccentric characters have been entertaining readers for over 90 years, and I hope to bring Tilling thrillingly to life. But be warned: this is no jolly period romp. This is a series about a war. May the worst-behaved woman win.”

The comic drama is made by BBC Drama Production for BBC One and directed by Diarmuid Lawrence (Quirke: The Silver Swan, The Lady Vanishes, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood). It is produced by Susie Liggat (The Tractate Middoth, The Café) and the executive producer is Lisa Osborne (Quirke, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, South Riding).

Mapp And Lucia will begin filming early summer 2014 in Rye, Sussex, which was the template for Benson’s Tilling.