TV & Movies

Matthew Macfadyen’s New Show Is A Big Departure From Succession

Here’s everything to know about Stonehouse.

by Shahed Ezaydi and Sam Ramsden
Originally Published: 
‘Succession's Tom Is Starring In A New ITV Drama With His IRL Wife
ITV/Joss Barratt

Succession fans will surely not be disappointed to hear that Matthew Macfadyen will be starring in ITV’s new drama Stonehouse as leading man John Stonehouse, the disgraced Labour MP embroiled in drama in the 1970s. Written by John Preston and directed by Jon S. Baird, Stonehouse will explore how a Labour MP and member of Harold Wilson’s government came to disappear one day and seemingly fake his own death.

Teasing what viewers can expect from the new three-part series, Macfadyen has described Stonehouse as a “fascinating story” with a “brilliant script.” Speaking to the Mirror, he continued, “It’s so beautifully written. But it’s very sad in many ways ... He (Stonehouse) leaves his wife and kids. Everything unravelled, but it is to do with sort of proximity to power and ambition and vanity and all the rest of it.” Ahead of this drama hitting our TV screens, here’s everything we know about ITV’s Stonehouse so far.

Stonehouse Plot

According to the ITV synopsis, John Stonehouse was known for his charisma, charm, and confidence. He even managed to impress then Prime Minister Harold Wilson early on in his political career. He seemed the perfect candidate to take on a life in politics with a military background as a war veteran and a degree from the London School of Economics.

But we soon begin to realise there’s more to Stonehouse than meets the eye. He has an affair with his secretary, Sheila Buckley, and served as a spy for the Czech Secret Service in the 1960s. The web of lies eventually take its toll on Stonehouse and he begins to establish an elaborate conspiracy that involved stealing the identity of a constituent that recently passed away in order to begin a new life in Australia.

One thing leads to another, and Stonehouse attempts to fake his own death, leaving behind his wife, Barbara, and their three children.

Stonehouse Cast

Starring alongside Macfadyen is Keeley Hawes of The Bodyguard and It's A Sin fame — who is also Macfayden’s IRL wife, In the forthcoming drama, she will take on the role of Stonehouse’s wife, Barbara.

Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

On working with her husband on Stonehouse, Hawes said it was the “perfect” opportunity to do so. “We have worked together before, but not for several years,” she told the Mirror. “And so when this came up, it seemed like the perfect project on so many levels really, mostly because the Stonehouses are so different to Matthew and I and to our relationship.”

“So it’s nice to see us, I think, and interesting for people who may know that we are married to see us as the 'other' couple,” Hawes added.

The series will also star Emer Heatley (Showtrial) as Stonehouse’s mistress Sheila Buckley, Kevin McNally (The Crown, Unforgotten) as Harold Wilson, Dorothy Atkinson (All Creatures Great and Small) as Betty Boothroyd, and Igor Grabuzov (Voskresenskiy, No Looking Back).

Stonehouse Release Date

Stonehouse will be available to watch on ITV and ITV Hub for UK viewers and on Britbox for viewers around the world. However, the release date is yet to be confirmed by ITV.

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