Line of Duty star Martin Compston to star in new BBC drama Mayflies

Line of Duty star Martin Compston is set to return to screens in a dramatic new adaptation of BBC Mayflies.

The BBC Scotland commission will be made by BAFTA award-winning Synchronicity Films (The Cry) for the BBC, adapted by Andrea Gibb (Elizabeth Is Missing) from the acclaimed novel of the same name by Andrew O’Hagan and directed by Peter Mackie Burns (Rialto).

Mayflies is described as a “memorial to the euphoria of youth and the daily tragedy. A tender farewell to an old union, it discovers the joy and the costs of love.”

We take a look at everything you need to know about the upcoming adaptation…

What is Mayflies about?

Mayflies are described as “intimate and devastating portrait of male friendship“. Everyone has a Tully Dawson (Tony Curran): the friend who defines your life. In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, Jimmy (Martin Compston) and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, movies and the rebel spirit.

School out and the locked-in world of their fathers ahead of them, they race towards the pinnacle of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicenter of everything that drives them in working-class Britain.

There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a wish is made: to approach life differently. Thirty years later, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has the worst news and a request that will test their friendship, love and loyalty to the limit…

Who is part of the cast of Mayflies?

Martin Compton (Course of action (opens in a new tab)Vigil, Our House (opens in a new tab)), Tony Curran (Your Honor, Outlaw King, Doctor Who) and Ashley Jensen (After Life, Extras) will lead the cast of Mayflies.

Martin Compston had a child with his real wife Tianna after announcing their pregnancy in 2019 (opens in a new tab) he will therefore juggle between filming and dad’s homework.

Gaynor Holmes, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor, said: “Mayflies is an intimate and devastating portrait of male friendship that manages to be both affirming and heartbreaking, and we’re delighted to have brought together a cast and an exceptional creative team to take it from page to screen.


(Image credit: BBC)

Where is Mayflies filmed?

Shot and filmed in Scotland, Mayflies is set to be filmed in and around Glasgow and Ayrshire this autumn.

Is Mayflies based on a true story?

Mayflies is based on the novel of the same name written by Andrew O’Hagan and the author has made no secret that Mayflies is autobiographical and the character of Tully is based on an old friend named Keith Martin.

Speaking of the TV adaptation, Novelist Andrew O’Hagan said: “For a while now I have admired the work of Synchronicity Films – Scottish in its bones and international in its complexion – and it is a pleasure to see them. to see Mayflies bring to BBC One. The story is very personal to me, and it’s amazing to see the characters come to life in Andrea Gibb’s wonderful adaptation. Director Peter Mackie Burns has a singular vision, and I have looking forward to seeing what he makes of the Ayrshire landscape and the emotional reality of this story.

Meanwhile, Claire Mundell, executive producer, founder and creative director of Synchronicity Films, praised Andrew’s work. She said: “Andrew’s novel is nostalgic, poignant and moving, following a lifelong friendship and exploring the optimism of youth and the realities of later life. It honestly portrays the bonds and limits of a shared life and values. We are delighted to be working with Andrew, Peter, Andrea and the BBC to collaborate on an authentic scripted adaptation of this acclaimed Scottish novel.

Andrew O'Hagan

(Image credit: Getty)

Andrea Gibb, Writer and Executive Producer added: “Adapting Andrew O’Hagan’s magnificent novel was one of the highlights of my career. Andrew tells his story of enduring male friendship with love, truth, tenderness and burning humanity. There is not an ounce of sentimentality. It’s very funny and deeply moving. Tully and Jimmy’s characters are instantly recognizable and utterly unforgettable. Both are so lively and dynamic that they jump off the page. It was a joy and a privilege to live with them.

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