Cast and writers announced for Russell T Davies E4 drama series Banana
Exciting and emerging talent from the fields of acting, writing and directing are to lead the charge in multi-award winning Russell T Davies’ much anticipated new E4 series, Banana, produced by RED Production Company.
Banana (8 x 30’) starts filming in Manchester next week, following hot on the heels of Cucumber, its partner drama for Channel 4.
A series of eight witty, charming and unique stand-alone stories, Banana covers 50 shades of gay and beyond – offering an intriguing and often outrageous peek into the individual lives, loves and losses of a range of characters. Young lesbian, Scotty pursues an unrequited love; 19 year old Dean has mysterious family secrets and a sexually charged liaison with the enigmatic Geordie Man; Sian struggles to choose between lover Violet and her over-protective mum Vanessa; and Helen who’s besieged by unwanted attention from an ex.
The series features exciting, up and coming talent including Hannah John-Kamen (Happy Valley), Letitia Wright (Top Boy), Georgia Henshaw (Waterloo Road), Andrew Hayden-Smith (Doctor Who) and comedian Bethany Black in her television debut. They are joined by Cucumber regulars Freddie Fox (Parade’s End) and Fisayo Akinade (Fresh Meat).
Alongside showrunner Davies who has written three episodes, Banana will feature the writing talents of comedian and presenter of The Great British Bake Off Sue Perkins, Matthew Barry and brilliant new writers Charlie Covell and Lee Warburton.
The series will be crafted by exciting new directors Lewis Arnold (Misfits), Luke Snellin (My Mad Fat Diary) and Al Mackay (My Jihad) who are already gaining a profile in the industry.
“The joy of Banana is in the beautiful, charming, witty and sometimes heart breaking stories of a wide variety of characters, be they gay, lesbian, transgender or anything in-between,” explains Davies. “The fact we have a bunch of brilliant and wildly talented young people in it, and making it, will give it even more bite and an exciting edge.”
Banana, Cucumber and Tofu, are three interlinked shows that explore 21st century gay life in all it’s powerful, witty, dark and uplifting guises and were devised by multi-award-winning showrunner Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk, Doctor Who) for E4, Channel 4 and online.
The ambitious projects are created with the same ferocious wit, startling honesty and heartfelt warmth that made Queer as Folk a landmark Channel 4 series, Banana will be broadcast on E4.
Online Tofu will be an anarchic and entertaining factual series about sex - from gay to straight, and anything in between - inspired by the dramas each week.
Banana will be produced by Emily Feller. Cucumber is written by Russell T Davies and produced by Matt Strevens, with directors; David Evans, Alice Troughton and Euros Lyn.
Cucumber, Banana and Tofu were commissioned by Channel 4 Head of Drama Piers Wenger and will be made by RED Production Company with Executive Producers Nicola Shindler, Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies. Tofu will be made by Benjamin Cook (Becoming YouTube).
Banana is the latest commission from E4, which is renowned for critically-acclaimed, award-winning, original British series including Skins, The Inbetweeners, Misfits and My Mad Fat Diary.