ITV and Red Production Company today announce that BAFTA award winning actress Sheridan Smith OBE has begun filming the gripping and complex four part event drama, No Return, written by RTS award winning screenwriter, Danny Brocklehurst (Brassic, Harlan Coben’s The Stranger, Come Home).
Sheridan, star of television dramas, Cilla, Mrs Biggs, The C Word and The Moorside will be joined by Louis Ashbourne Serkis best known for his role in the 2019 fantasy adventure film The Kid Who Would Be King and recent winner of the Outstanding Performance category at the 6th National Film Awards UK. Together they will play mother and son, Kathy and 16 year old Noah.
Also joining the cast is Olivier award winning actor Michael Jibson (Quiz, Isolation Stories) who won Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his performance as King George III in Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Michael plays Martin, Kathy’s husband and father to Noah.
With themes of parental love, guilt, grievances, and the issues around consent for teenagers, No Return will be produced by Manchester based executive producer, Nicola Shindler (It’s A Sin, Ridley Road), Richard Fee (The Stranger, Safe) and series creator and writer Danny Brocklehurst.
Directed by John Alexander (Grace, Belgravia) and produced by Farah Abushwesha (The Singapore Grip, The ABC Murders), the contemporary and emotional story depicts an unassuming family who are caught up in a living nightmare whilst on holiday in Turkey.
Looking forward to an idyllic all-inclusive luxury break in Turkey to enjoy the sun and sea with extended family members, Kathy (Sheridan Smith) and Martin (Michael Jibson), their son Noah (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) and younger daughter Jessica (Lily Sutcliffe) are blissfully unaware of the horrific ordeal about to unfold.
Their holiday is a chance to unwind and for Kathy and Martin to spend some much-needed time together. Until unsuspecting Noah accepts a seemingly innocent invitation to a beach party from a fellow holidaymaker, Rosie (Jodie Campbell), who is staying at the same hotel.
Suddenly Kathy and Martin’s world spectacularly falls apart when they are left desperately fighting for their son’s freedom against extremely challenging circumstances.
An arrest, an expensive and alien legal system, looming media coverage and resistance from fellow holidaymakers to come to their aid leaves the distraught parents fighting for Noah’s freedom when ironically he should be at school sitting his latest exams.
Completing the cast are Sian Brooke (Stephen, Good Omens, Sherlock) who plays Kathy’s sister Megan, David Mumeni (Sliced, Dead Pixels) who plays Megan’s husband Steve, Philip Arditti (House of Saddam, Black Earth Rising) as Noah’s legal representative Rico Karvalci, Murat Steven (SOKO Stuttgart) as hotel worker Ismail, and Rufus Hound (Trollied) who plays Private Investigator Al Milner.
Richard Fee commented: “We are thrilled to be making No Return for ITV. Danny has such a brilliant way of making an extraordinary situation feel completely relatable, and finding warmth and humour in even the most difficult circumstances. It’s great to be working with the wonderful John Alexander again and we’re excited to be starting production.”
Nicola Shindler commented: “I am delighted to be working with Danny again on these fantastic scripts. He makes the audience ask ‘what if that were my holiday, my child’ in a thrilling way. And we are so lucky to have Sheridan and the rest of this very talented cast to bring this story to life.”
Sarah Doole, CEO of Red Production Company added: “With holidays off the cards for most people for the last 18 months, you would think this story would be a dream holiday, but Danny succeeds in delivering a gripping and heart-wrenching script of the holiday from hell. We can’t wait to bring it to life for ITV viewers.”
Due to the current travel restrictions in place for Turkey the production team will be filming the drama in Spain, Manchester and Bolton.
No Return has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill and is expected to air in 2022. The drama will be internationally distributed by STUDIOCANAL.