Filming has begun on Dope Girls – a major new six-part drama series commissioned by the BBC and produced by Bad Wolf in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer, Dope Girls has been created and written by multi-award winning writer Polly Stenham (That Face, Julie, Neon Demon) and Alex Warren (Eleanor) and is inspired by a forgotten time in history when, after the losses of World War One, the streets of Soho were home to female gangs running the clubs, drugs and moonshine.
Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown) stars as Kate Galloway, a single mother who establishes a nightclub amidst the hedonistic uproar of post-World War One London, embracing a life of criminal activities with the dedicated aim of providing for her daughter Evie, played by Eilidh Fisher (The Power).
Eliza Scanlen (Little Women) plays Violet Davies, one of the first wave of female officers for the Metropolitan Police, who is assigned to go undercover and investigate the illicit world of underground Soho nightclubs. This is where we find Billie Cassidy played by Umi Myers (Bob Marley: One Love), a dazzling bohemian dancer, whose life is turned upside down by Kate’s arrival.
Geraldine James (Silo) also stars as Isabella – the leader of the criminal Salucci family including Rory Fleck Bryne (This Is Going To Hurt) as Luca Salucci, Dustin Demri-Burns (Slow Horses) as Damaso Salucci, Eben Figueiredo (The Serial Killer’s Wife) as Matteo Rossi Salucci and Sebastian Croft (Heartstopper) as Silvio Salucci.
The series also stars Michael Duke (Get Up Stand Up) as Eddie Cobb, Ian Bonar (I May Destroy You) as Sgt Frank Turner, Laura Checkley (Screw) as Sarah Fisher, Will Keen (His Dark Materials) as Frederick Asquith-Gore, Fiona Button (The Split) as Sophie Asquith-Gore, Harry Cadby (Everything Now) as Jimmy Conville, Nabhaan Rizwan (Informer) as Silas Huxley, Priya Kansara (Polite Society) as Lily Lee and Jordan Kouamé (Malpractice) as Reggie Regbo.
As well as serving as lead writers on the series Stenham and Warren will act as Executive Producers alongside Kate Crowther and Jane Tranter from Bad Wolf, and Michael Lesslie for Storyteller Productions, with Rebecca Ferguson for the BBC. Other writers on the series include Matthew Barry, who will also act as EP, and writers Matthew Jacobs Morgan and Xiao Tang.
Shannon Murphy (Babyteeth, Killing Eve) is lead director with Miranda Bowen (Women In Love) directing later episodes. Directors of Photography include Annika Summerson and Carlos Catalan, while Sherree Philips (Babyteeth) is production designer. Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto serves as producer. Casting is by Julie Harkin and Nathan Toth.
The project has been developed and overseen by Bad Wolf’s Director of Content, Dan McCulloch and Chief Creative Officer, Ryan Rasmussen.
Dope Girls was commissioned by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama. Sony Pictures Television will handle international distribution.
Jane Tranter said:
“Dope Girls is quintessentially Bad Wolf. A viscerally thrilling drama that rides through the underbelly of organised crime in the early 20th Century with a uniquely female point of view. Polly and Alex’s visionary fictional take on Soho is as audacious as the world it portrays.”
Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says:
“We can’t wait for viewers to discover the bold and brilliant Dope Girls. Packed full of complex and electrifying characters from a fascinating time in Britain’s history, this will be must-see, ambitious drama.”