Mike Bartlett, writer of Doctor Foster and Charles III, returns with a “contemporary workplace drama” starring Ken Nwosu and Ben Miller. Set in the glamorous locale of a Reading business park, it is an exploration of the rat race and office bullying that will likely be all too recognisable for many viewers.
The three-part series will begin on Monday 16th December at 9pm on ITV and will air daily over three nights. The series began filming in September 2018 and was originally titled The Man.
What is Sticks and Stones about?
Mike Bartlett’s three-part psychological drama Sticks and Stones is all about “the competitive world of middle management,” and is set in a business park in Reading.
According to ITV, Sticks and Stones “centres on the personal and professional life of Thomas Benson, a hard-working father and husband. Reliant on bonuses and winning pitches, Benson often finds himself leading the team when trying to win new business. When he freezes during a pitch the fall out is monumental.
“Determined to win back the client Thomas goes to increasingly desperate lengths to remain successful. But as he does, he begins to feel undermined, under attack and out of control. Has he lost his confidence and just feeling paranoid or is his own team, and maybe the wider world, now out to get him?”
Who is Mike Bartlett?
Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett, Suranne Jones, Bertie Carvel and Tom Taylor (Getty, TL)
Screenwriter and playwright Mike Bartlett is known for the BBC drama Doctor Foster starring Suranne Jones, as well as the play and TV film King Charles III. His recent shows include the mini-series Press and hospital drama Trauma.
Bartlett said: “Having written about bullying in the workplace previously for the stage, it feels fantastic to tell a new story that explores the potential cruelty of commercial competition, and the effect that has on our psychology, and humanity.”
Executive Producer Catherine Oldfield added: “Mike’s created a fantastically taut, contemporary thriller about bullying. Given the current climate, it feels exactly the right time to explore something that affects so many people, all with Mike’s brilliant ability to mix dark humour with intense paranoia to dramatic effect. I can’t wait to see the hugely talented Ken bring Thomas to life.”
Ken Nwosu is set to play the lead role of Thomas Benson. The actor played Paul Hastings in the movie Christopher Robin and Max Sanford in series one of Killing Eve, and is also an experienced stage actor who has starred with the Royal Shakespeare Company and in An Octoroon at the National Theatre.
Ben Miller (Getty, KB)
He is joined by Ben Miller, a well-known actor whose credits include Johnny English, Tracey Ullman’s Show, Paddington 2 (as Colonel Lancaster), Death in Paradise (as DI Richard Poole), and The Armstrong and Miller Show.
The cast also includes Sean Sagar, Susannah Fielding, Gwilym Lee, Phoebe Nicholls, Ritu Ayra, Alexandra Roach, Michael Cochrane and Debbie Chazen.
Sticks and Stones is directed by Julia Ford (Safe) and produced by Colin Wratten (The Witness for the Prosecution, Killing Eve) with production company Tall Story Pictures.