ITV commissions adaptation of The Confessions of Frannie Langton novel

Published Thu 27 Aug 2020

ITV commissions an adaptation of The Confessions of Frannie Langton, the breathtaking debut novel from writer Sara Collins, produced by Drama Republic

“They say I must be put to death for what happened to Madame and they want me to confess.  But how can I confess what I don't believe I've done?  – Frannie Langton”

The brilliantly searing depiction of race, class, and oppression portrayed in Sara Collins’ debut novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton is to be adapted into a murder mystery drama series for ITV by Drama Republic.

The four part drama will be written by the author, Sara Collins, who won the Costa first novel award in 2019 for her haunting tale of Frannie Langton, a woman born into a life of slavery who is fighting to tell her own story.

Commented Sara Collins:

“For so long I've wondered why we never see period dramas featuring black protagonists that also happen to be 'whodunnits', love stories or juicy, addictive dramas, rather than stories of victimhood.  It's an absolute dream come true to be collaborating with Drama Republic and ITV on adapting Frannie for television, even more meaningful because I hope it will be all of those things, and because I know how powerful it is to see yourself represented on-screen in fresh stories that stamp all over stale old stereotypes.”

Set against the dazzling opulence of Georgian London, The Confessions of Frannie Langton, narrates Frannie’s journey from a Jamaican plantation to the grand Mayfair mansion of celebrated scientist George Benham and his exquisitely beautiful wife, Madame Marguerite Benham.

In a misguided and monstrous gesture Frannie is gifted to Benham by the man who owns her, John Langton, and she is employed as a maid in the household much to her chagrin.

As the plot twists and turns, events take a fateful turn as the Benhams are found murdered in their beds, with Frannie lying next to Marguerite.

Frannie is accused of murder; a murder she can’t remember.  Dragged away to prison, Frannie attempts to piece together the events of that night.  She is deep into a laudanum addiction and unable to recall what happened. Will Frannie recall the haunting events of that night?  All she knows is she loved Marguerite passionately and cannot believe she would have hurt her.

But if not Frannie, who did commit the double murder? Others have motive, but only Frannie is accused and she will hang if found guilty. What hope does she have?

The Confessions of Frannie Langton has been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill and ITV Drama Commissioner Chloe Tucker.

Commented Chloe Tucker:

“We are delighted that Sara is adapting her fantastic novel for ITV. Frannie is a character who immediately gets under your skin, and via a twisting and turning whodunnit Sara explores our history with slavery in the UK.  The Confessions of Frannie Langton is an exciting and compelling drama that will hook and surprise the audience, and I'm also pleased to be working with Drama Republic on their first show for ITV.”

The Confessions of Frannie Langton will be filmed in London in 2021 and executive produced by Greg Brenman (Black Earth Rising, Doctor Foster, Peaky Blinders) who is co-Chief Executive Officer of Drama Republic, the independent production company founded in 2013 by Greg and Roanna Benn. 

Created to produced distinctive, bold and compelling stories and with a passion for working with writers and directors and putting them at the heart of each project, The Confessions of Frannie Langton is Drama Republic’s first ITV commission. Drama Republic, Script Executive, Rebecca de Souza, has developed the drama and will also executive produce the series.  

Commented Greg Brenman and Rebecca de Souza:

“The minute we read Sara's book our hearts started racing...what an amazing character she had created in Frannie!  We desperately wanted to bring her to the screen.  We're so delighted to be working with the astonishingly talented first time writer, Sara Collins on this brilliant story which had us hooked from the outset.”

Further information regarding casting and the appointment of key production personnel will be advised closer to filming commencing. International distributers will be decided upon in the coming months.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton is made with investment from Screen Yorkshire.


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