Some of you may be familiar with Lissa Evans’ comic novel, Old Baggage, the best-selling book about a suffragette which was published to rave reviews last year. Well, we’re all in for a treat as it has been announced that the popular read is being adapted into a new TV series.
For those who haven’t read the novel, Old Baggage is set in 1928 – the year that all women in the UK received the same voting rights as men – and follows Matilda Simkin, a passionate and dedicated suffragette who no longer knows what to fight for.
The story has now been picked up by British comedy legends Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan who will adapt it into a comedy series for our TV screens. This will be carried out by production company George & George, in association with Alan Partridge producer Baby Cow.
Discussing their exciting new project, Pepperdine and Scanlan told Deadline: ‘Lissa’s grasp of character and her immaculate feel for women’s history made this property irresistible to us as actors and now producers.’
They continued: ‘The book made us laugh, it made us cry and it kept us up reading till three in the morning. We can’t wait to start to develop it for long-form television.’
In Old Baggage, Evans’ tackles a question not often discussed in dramatisation or discussions about the suffragettes movement: what happened after the vote was won? The novel’s protagonist Matilda, who is in her middle aged years following the hard-earned victory, struggles to find a sense of direction when the fight is ‘over’.
In an interview from December 2018, Evans explained: ‘I really wanted to write about what it would be like after you’d done something dramatic, trying to make sense of your life after you’d done something extraordinary.’
She added: ‘It’s a little bit like a feminist born in the Sixties and how they’re viewed now, and, for me, [Old Baggage] was a way of exploring an aspect of this subject that hasn’t been covered before.’
It is not clear whether Pepperdine or Scanlan will star in the upcoming drama, nor has a broadcaster been attached to it. But we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes peeled for more information.