Commenting on the new series, co-creator Lloyd Woolf said: “The challenges come from writing the episodes. They’re like pop songs in that they look easy, but, in fact, being that simple is actually quite complicated. It’s hard work, but, you know, that’s what makes it rewarding – you feel like you’ve pulled off something tricky.” Joe Tucker added: “We wanted to keep the tone light and playful, and we also wanted it to be grounded. We wanted the scenarios, however comic they were, to be as believable as possible and to stem from the characters. That was always the biggest challenge.”
Flying the nest is a milestone moment, a melange of nerves and delight as you unfurl yourself from the parental wing to do the independent thing, to grow up and never look back. That’s the idea anyway. But what if unforeseen circumstances, a flip in fortune, or, more specifically, unbridled rage force you to return and shack up with mum and dad once again?
That’s the ‘what if’ sparked by newcomer writers Lloyd Woolf and Joe Tucker in Parents, and brought to life by a cast of British talent, including Sally Phillips of Miranda fame, Darren Strange from Phone Shop, Mrs Brown’s Boys’ Susie Blake and Tom Conti as seen in Friends and many other productions.
Until recently, Jenny Pope (Phillips) was a high-flying executive living in a large house in leafy west London. That came to an abrupt halt when she lost her job. She says this was due to “structural changes” at the firm, but it might have had something to do with an altercation with a colleague that got a little, er, “punchy“. Things went from bad to worse when her house was repossessed, and now she’s had to move her husband, self-styled entrepreneur Nick (Strange) and two teenage children, Sam (Christian Lees) and Becky (Jadie Rose Hobson), into her parents’ – Len (Conti) and Alma (Blake) – house in Kettering. Purely on a temporary basis, of course. However, Jenny’s determined to climb back up the ladder and get back to her old life, no matter what it takes.
It’s a challenge that their lead, Sally Phillips, thinks they’ve more than risen to. She said: “It’s a joy of a role to perform and that is unusual. I don’t write things that are fun to perform, which is ironic because, as a performer, you’d think I would. have written stuff that you want to observe exactly but, at the same time, there’s room to piss about . There is lots of freedom, so there’ll be 20 ways to perform something, again, unusual … This time, the freedom was all elsewhere. They don’t tell you what to do in the script, they’ve put you, the performer, in the situation and then you do whatever you want.”
The six half hour episodes will air on the channel starting at the end of June.