Conversations with Friends cast announced: Alison Oliver and Joe Alwyn star in Sally Rooney adaptation

The adaptation of Normal People writer Sally Rooney's debut novel has found its cast.

Alison Oliver

Considering the success of the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-seller Normal People, it’s no surprise the BBC is adapting the Irish writer’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends.


The cast for the upcoming coming-of-age drama has just been announced, with newcomer Alison Oliver set to play the lead role of 21-year-old college student Frances. Sasha Lane plays her ex-girlfriend, now best friend, Bobbi.

Joe Alwyn (The Favourite) and Jemima Kirke (Sex Education) play Nick and Melissa, the couple that throws a wrench into Frances and Bobbi’s friendship.

Conversations with Friends will begin filming in Dublin this year and will be co-directed by Normal People’s Lenny Abrahamson and Leanne Welham (His Dark Materials).

Speaking of the cast, Abrahamson said in a statement: “I feel so excited to be collaborating with four such superb actors to bring Sally’s brilliant novel to the screen. Over the last few months it has been a privilege to work alongside Element Pictures and our extraordinary team of writers to get the scripts to a point where we all feel so excited to start shooting.

“I’ll be joined by a world-class crew (many of whom worked on Normal People) and supporting cast and I’m particularly happy to have Leanne Welham come on board. I’ve been an admirer of her work for a long time and I have no doubt she will bring great skill and subtlety to the episodes she directs.”

Director of BBC Drama Piers Wenger added: “Lenny’s deep affinity for Sally’s writing and talent for finding actors to bring her fictional creations to life played a huge part in bringing Normal People so successfully to screen. In casting Alison, Sasha, Joe and Jemima, that same flair and instinct is in evidence and we cant wait to see how they will bring Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa to life.”


Normal People is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. For something else to watch, check out our TV Guide