First Cast Members Announced for J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy


The first confirmed cast members for the BBC One mini-series adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy” have been announced today. The cast includes Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie, and introduces Abigail Lawrie.

BAFTA Award-winning actor Michael Gambon (“Harry Potter” films) is set to play Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen, with Julia McKenzie playing his wife Shirley. Howard’s son Miles is being played by Rufus Jones with his wife Samantha Mollison being played by Keeley Hawes. Rory Kinnear, who recently won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as Iago in Nicholas Hytner’s production of “Othello” at the National Theatre, is to play Barry Fairbrother, Keeley Forsyth is playing Terri Weedon with newcomer Abigail Lawrie cast as her daughter Krystal Weedon.

Monica Dolan, who won a BAFTA Award for her portrayal of Rose West in Julian Jarrold’s “Appropriate Adult,” will play Tess Wall with Simon McBurney playing her husband Colin Wall. Richard Glover has been cast to play Simon Price alongside Marie Critchley playing his wife Ruth Price. Michelle Austin will play Kay Bawden.

Other cast soon to be announced includes Parminder, Vikram and Sukhvinder Jawanda, Gaia Bawden, and other key characters including Mary Fairbrother, Maureen Lowe, Lexie and Libby Mollison, and Andrew and Paul Price.

The BBC One miniseries, in association with HBO, is an adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s global bestseller “The Casual Vacancy” and consists of three one-hour parts. Production begins on July 7 in South West England.

“The Casual Vacancy” centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty façade, however, is a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.

“The Casual Vacancy” is being produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production company run by J.K. Rowling and Neil Blair, who is executive producing with Paul Trijbits and Rick Senat. It was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, and Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama.

The miniseries is written by Sarah Phelps, produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts and will be directed by Jonny Campbell.