Emma Healey’s successful novel Elizabeth Is Missing was one of the most talked-about releases of 2014 when it hit shelves across the world. The poignant novel tells the story of a dementia sufferer and touched the heart of many – and now, the BBC is adapting it into a TV drama.
Maintaining its original title, the upcoming drama has been adapted by screenwriter Andrea Gibb, and will be a one-off feature length TV film that will air on BBC One. It will star Oscar-winner Glenda Jackson, who will make her return to acting after 25 years, to play the special role of the lead character, Maud.
Here’s everything we know about Elizabeth Is Missing so far…
What is Elizabeth Is Missing about?
Sticking to the premise of the novel, BBC’s summary of the drama reads: ‘Elizabeth Is Missing combines a gripping mystery with a tender yet unflinching exploration of one woman’s struggle with dementia.
‘When her best friend Elizabeth goes missing, Maud is convinced that something terrible has happened, and sets out to solve the mystery. But with her dementia worsening, unfinished business unearthed and the past and present starting to merge, Maud’s search takes on a poignant urgency. Will Maud be able to discover the truth before she loses herself completely?’
Speaking about the 90-minute film, Gibbs said:’I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to adapt this beautiful story. Emma has created an extraordinary heroine in Maud – she’s funny, tenacious, loyal – while also giving us a moving portrait of dementia from the inside out.’
Who has been cast in Elizabeth Is Missing?
In addition to Glenda, Elizabeth Is Missing will star Sophie Rundle, who will play Maud’s older sister Sukey in a series of flashbacks. Rundle’s fellow Peaky Blinders cast mate Sam Hazeldine has also been cast in the drama, playing the role of a character named Tom.
Commenting on her return to the screen and portraying Maud, Glenda said: ‘Elizabeth Is Missing is about a subject that is of enormous importance. We, the human race, live longer and longer and there are always new illnesses coming to the fore. This story deals with a woman and her family who are going through the realisation of what Alzheimer’s really is and how terrible it is. It was interesting to explore a life lost and how society has tried to maintain those people whose health is also severely damaged.’
Similarly, Sophie said: ‘I think it will be poignant and I hope its life-affirming. I don’t think it’s a damning look at memory loss and dementia, I think it’s a hopeful look at it. This is a very heart-felt and insightful look at what life is like when this sort of thing is happening.’
When will Elizabeth Is Missing air?
You haven’t to wait too long as Elizabeth Is Missing is airing on BBC One this Sunday 8 December at 9pm.