Conversations with Friends: Release date and cast in Sally Rooney’s book adaptation

Joe Alwyn, Conversations with Friends
(Image credit: Getty)

Conversations with Friends is the new Sally Rooney book adaptation coming soon. But how long will fans have to wait before the show hits our screens and who has been cast for the show?

If you love a good book adaptation like Bridgerton or Netflix's Heartstopper then there's another novel-to-screen series to keep a look out for.

Based on Sally Rooney's first novel of the same name, Conversations with Friends centres on two Dublin college students, Frances and Bobbi, and the strange and unexpected connection they forge with a married couple, Melissa and Nick.

And if you loved Sally Rooney's Normal People, you're bound to like this. But when will we get to see Conversations with Friends?

Conversations with Friends release date

Conversations with friends is due to be released on Sunday 15th May 2022. The 12-part TV series will premiere on BBC3 and BBC iPlayer in the UK and Hulu in the US. All 12 episodes will also be available to stream that day on BBC iPlayer. Each episode is 30 minutes in length, like Normal People was.

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Who is in the Conversations with Friends cast?

  • Alison Oliver (newcomer) as Frances - a 21-year-old university student
  • Joe Alwyn (The Favourite) - married actor Nick who has a secret affair with Frances
  • Saha Lane (American Honey) - as Frances's ex-girlfriend and best friend Bobbi
  • Jemima Kirke (Sex Education) will play writer and Nick's wife Melissa

Executive producer and director Lenny Abrahamson spoke about the casting process during the TCA panel. "When you’re casting a quartet that’s so tightly bound together, every thought about one character informs all the other characters," he noted.

Meanwhile upon the cast announcement back in February 2021, cast member Joe Alwyn shared a post which read, "Conversations With Friends’ is one of my favourite books of the last few years. I’m so grateful and excited to be invited onboard, and to get to work with this amazingly talented group of people."

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What is Conversations with Friends about?

Directed by Normal People's Lenny Abrahamson, the story centres on Frances and Bobbi, who despite splitting up three years ago, remain inseparable until they meet writer Melissa after performing spoken word poetry together in Dublin. As Bobbi and Melissa begin to openly flirt with one another, Nick and Frances find themselves drawn to each other and begin an intense affair that begins to test the bond between Frances and Bobbi as well as Frances's view of herself.

A trailer was released by BBC3 and it gives fans the first glimpse of Frances and Bobbi's relationship with intriguing older couple Melissa and Nick. You can watch it below...

Is Conversations with Friends based on a true story?

Conversations with Friends is not based on a true story, despite the assumptions that young female writers mirror their own lives but it does draw upon Sally Rooney's experience as a competitive debater while she studied at Trinity College Dublin as its when she was introduced to an elite and unfamiliar world.

Sally recalled, "I thought, I have to very quickly now absorb the norms and the social behaviour and the etiquette that will make me socially acceptable. And that certainly informed the novel. That’s how Frances feels with Melissa and their friends: I want these people to accept me. How do I do that? How do I observe them closely enough that I can fool them into thinking I can belong?” The book becomes a treatise about not just the complexities of desire in the modern era, but also the complexities of being a young woman in the world, with all of the potential heights and hazards that follow along."

Where was Conversations with Friends filmed?

Filming took place in Ireland when the cameras started rolling in Belfast back in April 2021, the official Instagram page for Conversations with Friends posted, "It’s Day 1 of filming #ConversationswithFriends in Northern Ireland! We’re so excited to bring this world to life. ❤️ @hulu @bbcthree @element_pictures" alongside a snap of a clapperboard.

Conversations with Friends airs on Sunday May 15th on BBC3 and BBC iPlayer. And if you're looking for another book adaptation show check out The Essex Serpent, coming to Apple+TV on May 13th.

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Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)