Sharon Horgan, the writer who brought us cutting-edge comedies like Pulling, Catastrophe and Divorce is back with a new six-part sitcom: Motherland.
The series follows a group of middle-class mums who are navigating the trials and tribulations of modern parenthood – and the competitiveness that comes with it. They are all, essentially, winging it.
Here’s who you need to know…
Anna Maxwell Martin as Julia
Julia is a working mother who is quickly realising that her organisational skills are nowhere near the level of the “Alpha mums”. The series protagonist, she is on the brink of a nervous breakdown most of the time.
Where do I recognise Anna Maxwell Martin from?
Maxwell Martin won a Bafta after playing Esther Summerson in the BBC adaptation of Bleak House in 2005, and won another for her role in Channel 4’s Poppy Shakespeare in 2008. More recently she starred in BBC Christmas drama Death Comes to Pemberley, as well as appearing in ITV’s The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies and BBC2’s Reg. She is set to appear in the forthcoming adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel Good Omens.
Diane Morgan as Liz
Liz is in total chaos but she very much embraces it. Her haphazard approach to parenting and her complete disregard for the elite squad of mothers is the source of much amusement in the series.
Where do I recognise Diane Morgan from?
Morgan is best known for her portrayal of her and Charlie Brooker’s comedy creation, Philomena Cunk. You might have also seen her in Rovers, Pat & Cabbage, Him & Her and The Work Experience.
Paul Ready as Kevin
Kevin is a stay-at-home dad who is incredibly eager to please. He is a little slow at times and pretty hapless but he means well.
Where do I recognise Paul Ready from?
Ready is best known for playing hitman Lee in Utopia, but he has also starred in Cuffs, Ripper Street and Fortitude.
Lucy Punch as Amanda
Amanda is the glamorous leader of the “Alpha mums” and is, on the whole, not a very nice person. She is super-competitive and puts Julia down at every given opportunity.
Where do I recognise Lucy Punch from?
You might have seen Punch playing receptionist Elaine Denham in Doc Martin in 2004. She has also appeared in The Class, Vexed and New Girl. In terms of films, Punch has starred in Bad Teacher, Hot Fuzz and more.
Philippa Dunne as Anne
Anne is one of the other local mums – on the outskirts of Julia, Liz and Kevin’s quirky little gang.
Where do I recognise Philippa Dunne from?
Philippa Dunne has been in Rental Boys and The Walshes – and also appeared in one of Sky’s Comedy Shorts, Quints, last year.
Ellie Haddington as Marion
Marion is Julia’s mum who is constantly rebuffing her daughter’s desperate pleas for help.
Where do I recognise Ellie Haddington from?
Haddington was a series regular on Coronation Street in the 90s as Josie Clarke. She had a starring role in the ITV prison drama Bad Girls and has appeared in Holby City, Foyle’s War and Ripper Street. You might have also spotted her as Mrs Eposito in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.