TV & Movies

Martin Compston’s New Drama Looks A World Away From Line Of Duty

Here’s everything we know about BBC’s Mayflies.

by Frances Stewart and Sophie McEvoy
Originally Published: 
Tony Curran and Martin Compston in Mayflies
BBC/Synchronicity Films Limited

Mayflies is a new two-part drama from the BBC that’s set to shine a spotlight on Scotland and its abundance of talent. Starring Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston, Ashley Jensen of After Life, and Tony Curran of Your Honor, it’s lined up to be quite the mini series. The screenplay is based on Andrew O’Hagan’s novel of the same name, which was named Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2021, won the prestigious Christopher Isherwood Prize, and has also earned praise from authors including Graham Norton and Colm Tobin. In a statement to the BBC, O’Hagan said of the TV adaptation, “the story is a very personal one to me, and it’s amazing to see the characters come to life.” And so, find out everything we know so far about Mayflies, below.

Mayflies Cast

Martin Compston is set to play Jimmy, one half of the pair at the heart of this drama. Jimmy and best friend Tully Dawson (played by Tony Curran) present an “intimate and devastating portrait of male friendship,” said Gaynor Holmes, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor.

Joining Compston and Curran in the main cast are Jensen as Anna, and Showtrial’s Tracy Ifeachor as Iona, alongside House of the Dragon’s Tom Glynn-Carney as young Tully, Vigil’s Rian Gorden as young Jimmy, Two Doors Down’s Elaine C Smith as Barbara, and The Control Room’s Charlene Boyd as young Barbara. Shauna Macdonald, Cal MacAninch, and Colin McCredie also star.

Mayflies Plot

Set in Scotland during the summer of 1986, Mayflies centres on best friends Tully and Jimmy who “ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films, and the rebel spirit” in 1980s Scotland. A BBC synopsis reads, that the duo spend “a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently.”

It’s a tale of two halves though, as we then flash forward thirty years, where we see this friendship between the two men tested in a number of ways. “Mayflies is a memorial to youth’s euphoria and to everyday tragedy. A tender goodbye to an old union, it discovers the joy and the costs of love.”

BBC/Synchronicity Films Limited

Mayflies Release Date

A release date for Mayflies isn’t yet in sight. However, it’s been confirmed that the show will be broadcast later this year on BBC One, BBC Scotland, and BBC iPlayer. The series recently finished production, having been filming in and around Glasgow and Ayrshire.

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