BBC One announces new drama by award-winning writer Sally Wainwright

Monday 18th May 2015 BBC One announces an original 1×120 drama by multi-award-winning writer Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) who will also direct the drama. Produced by BBC Wales, To Walk Invisible is an original perspective on the extraordinary Brontë sisters, commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, Outgoing Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning. Sally Wainwright, who most recently won a BAFTA Television Award for best Writer – Drama, says

“I am thrilled beyond measure that I’ve been asked by the BBC to bring to life these three fascinating, talented, ingenious Yorkshire women.”

The Brontë sisters’ personal lives are as intriguing as their writing: three unlikely geniuses under one unlikely West Yorkshire roof. Coming from obscurity to produce some of the greatest and most enduring classics of all time, with themes that shook the nation, Charlotte, Anne and Emily remain one the greatest literary mysteries in the world. Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, adds

“The Brontë sisters have always been enigmatic, but Sally Wainwright’s brilliantly authentic new BBC One drama brings the women behind some of our greatest literary masterpieces to life. It’s an extraordinary tale of family tragedy and their passion and determination, against the odds, to have their genius recognized in a male 19th-century world.”

The drama revolves around the three sisters’ increasingly difficult relationship with their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life – following a tragically misguided love affair – sank into alcoholism, drug addiction and appalling behaviour. Life at home with the Brontës at this time was not a comfortable place to be, and yet from this environment sprang their remarkable literary output. To Walk Invisible explores the siblings’ relationship not only with one another, but with their father, a clever and unusual man, who grew up in an impoverished home in rural Ireland, who educated himself, and who was happy to encourage his children – irrespective of their sex – to become passionate about literature and its possibilities. It is written and directed by Sally Wainwright. Faith Penhale, Head of BBC Drama Wales, is the executive producer and Karen Lewis is the producer. It will film in and around Yorkshire and the casting will be announced in due course.