Where is BBC drama Rules of the Game filmed? And where you've seen the cast before

a promo shot of BBC drama Rule of Games filmed in Manchester

Viewers who have tuned into the new BBC thriller are eager to know, where is Rules of the Game filmed?

It's a new drama inspired by the #MeToo era, exploring sexual politics and toxic working practices in what could be any UK office setting. The story centres on the family-run sportswear company Fly, headed up by Chief Operating Officer Sam Thompson, whose eyes are opened when she hires HR director Maya. The two female leads start to question the circumstances of a prior suspicious incident that took place at the firm. And what they learn changes both the personal and professional lives of these women for good.

Hot off the back of The Girl Before (opens in new tab) and Four Lives (opens in new tab), Rules of the Game is another BBC drama that's set to have viewers hooked. And it's a great boxset to binge before the hotly anticipated This is Going to Hurt (opens in new tab) TV adaptation starring Ben Whishaw, and Britbox's Secrets of the Krays (opens in new tab).

Where is Rules of the Game filmed?

Rules of the Game was filmed predominantly in Manchester and Cheshire.

Scenes filmed in the fictional sportswear company's office were shot in the Fujitsu building, part of Manchester's One Central Park. Whilst lead character Sam's sleek 1930's house with black gates is located in Eccles, Salford.

The Manchester-based filming location of the show suited actress Maxine Peake, who plays the role of Sam, perfectly.

"It’s great being up North because I live in Salford," she said. "My character’s house was a 10-minute walk from where I live, which has never happened to me. That was a bonus, because a lot of the time you’re away, and after the year we’ve all had, being able to work from home has eased me back into filming after having a bit of a break."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iSU3lDDKFo

Further scenes were shot on location in Cheshire, north west of England.

The series' HR director Maya Benshaw's home is a new-build based in Great Sankey, Warrington. Whilst the police station in the show is actually a makeshift set built in the Heath Business Park in Runcorn, Cheshire.

The Cheshire market town of Frodsham also takes centre stage in the series.

Viewers can actually visit some of the real life locations of Rules of the Game in Frodsham - including The Restaurant Next Door, The Bear Paws pub and Frodsham Community Church.

Filming for the BBC drama took place in May 2021, with production crew spotted around many Frodsham locations at this time.

a behind the scenes photo of Rules of the Game being filmed

Credit: The Forge - Photographer: Vishal Sharma

Cast of Rules of the Game:

Audiences will recognise many cast members of this new BBC Drama. Several of the actors have appeared in other small screen hits:

  • Maxine Peake (Anne, Silk, Dinner Ladies) plays Sam
  • Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education, Eastenders) plays Maya Benshaw
  • Alison Steadman (Abigail's Party, Gavin & Stacey) plays Anita
  • Susan Wokoma (Misfits, Enola Holmes) plays DI Eve Preston
  • Kieran Bew (Liar, The Bill) plays Gareth Jenkins
  • Ben Batt (Shameless, Scott & Bailey) plays Owen Jenkins
  • Callie Cooke (The Stranger, Strike) plays Tess Jones
  • Zoe Tapper (Mr Selfridge, Liar) plays Vanessa Jenkins
  • Katherine Pearce (Coronation Street, Vera) plays Carys Jenkins

a close up of the cast in a scene from Rules of the Game

From L-R: Actors Ben Batt, Alison Steadman, Kieran Baw and Maxine Peake in a still from Rules of the Game. (Credit - The Forge Photographer: Matt Squire)

Actress Maxine Peake has teased what's in store for her character in Rules of the Game:

"As it progresses, Sam realises that past events, which happened to her, correlate with what's happening to other members of the workforce," she told What to Watch (opens in new tab). "She believes that she was always in control. Now, whether that’s true or not, we’ll find out. There are incidents in her life that she's not dealt with…"

"Even though it is a thriller, it’s got some lighter moments," she adds. "It’s a really great script with something to say."

The 47-year-old also admitted to having never worked in an office before. Though she did confess to doing other odd jobs when younger - including one with a now very famous co-worker:

"No, I did lots of jobs but never an office," she said. "I was a lifeguard with Paddy McGuinness at Horwich Leisure Centre. I’m just throwing that in there. He keeps it quiet. I don't know, maybe he's embarrassed by me!"

Rules of the Game: next episode

The next episode of Rules of the Game will air on Tuesday 18 January at 9pm on BBC One.

There are four episodes of the new drama in total. And the full boxset is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) if you can't wait.

Otherwise, the remaining episodes will broadcast live on BBC One as follows:

  • First episode: Aired Tuesday 11 January, 9pm.
  • Second episode: Aired Wednesday 12 January, 9pm.
  • Third episode: Airs Tuesday 18 January, 9pm.
  • Finale: Airs Wednesday 19 January, 9pm.

Rules of the Game: Soundtrack

According to Cool Music (opens in new tab), Edmund Butt composed the score for the Rules of the Game.

The composer is no stranger to TV dramas. Having previously scored the music for BBC series Life on Mars, plus ITV's Bancroft and Cheat.

Will there be a second season of Rules of the Game?

No, it doesn't look like there will be another series of the Rules of the Game.

Maxine Peake who heads up the all-star cast told RadioTimes.com that she considered the BBC drama to be a 'one season show'.

Video of the Week:

"I would feel this is definitely a one, as the Americans say, season. But who knows?," she said. “Maybe I couldn’t spend another summer locked in a big glass tower building."

Emily Stedman
Emily Stedman

Emily Stedman is the News Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things royal, entertainment, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things celebrity and royal, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.