Talking Heads is produced by London Theatre Company’s Nicholas Hytner (Miss Saigon) and Kevin Loader (The Mother) and co-produced by Steve Clark Hall (Body Armour). The original series aired on BBC in the 1980s with Oscar winner Maggie Smith (Harry Potter film series), and followed up with a second series which aired in the 1990s. The season focuses on themes of death, isolation and illness. The nature of Bennett’s monologues provides viewers with relevant stories while ensuring the series is made safely and responsibly to follow government guidelines.
Each member of the cast takes on individual monologues. Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) plays the role of Lesley in her remake of “Her Big Chance”, originally acted by Patricia Routledge. The remaining cast includes Martin Freeman (Sherlock) as Graham in “A Chip in the Sugar”, Imelda Staunton (The Crown) as Irene in “A Lady of Letters”, Kristin Scott Thomas (Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Celia in “The Hand of God”, Lucian Msamati (Game of Thrones) as Wilfred in “Playing Sandwiches”, Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) as Gwen in “An Ordinary Woman”, Monica Dolan (Appropriate Adult) as Lorna in “The Shrine”, Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner) as Rosemary in “Nights in the Garden of Spain”, Maxine Peake (Shameless) as Mizz Fozzard in “Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet”, Harriet Walter (Atonement) as Muriel in “Soldiering On”, Rochena Sandell (Line of Duty) as Marjory in “The Outside Dog”, and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) as Susan in “Bed Among the Lentils”.
BBC has remade ten of the monologues, with the addition of two new pieces Bennett has written in the past year.
Radio Times reports that Bennett previously said in a statement, “In such difficult circumstances, that the BBC should choose to remount both series of Talking Heads, and produce two entirely new ones, is a comfort and a huge compliment. I hope a new generation of actors will get and give as much pleasure as we did 20 and 30 years ago.”