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Excitement builds as filming for TV adaptation of ‘Conversations With Friends’ gets underway in Northern Ireland


by Sarah Finnan
28th Apr 2021

The TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s second novel, 'Normal People', just recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, but all eyes have now turned to 'Conversations With Friends' – which began filming this week.

Word that filming for Conversations With Friends has gotten underway slipped out earlier this week when the series’ official Twitter account shared a photo of a clapperboard alongside the words, “it’s day 1 of filming #ConversationswithFriends in Northern Ireland! We’re so excited to bring this world to life.”

If they’re excited to bring it to life, then we’re doubly excited for them to do so as there’s been a Sally Rooney-shaped hole in our lives since last April and we’re keen to fill it as soon as possible. 

The Sligo native’s debut novel, Conversations With Friends feels a little more “adult”, perhaps due to its treatment of adultery and the fact that two of the central characters are slightly older.  Telling the tale of friends Frances and Bobbi, it shares similar attributes with Rooney’s second novel Normal People – both main characters attend Trinity, much of the action is set in Dublin, themes centre around friendship, romance, and the human need for love. 

However, while it was the latter that got the TV treatment first,  attention has quickly turned to the former with anticipation building day by day for the series’ premiere early next year. Already naming Joe Alwyn (Nick), Jemima Kirke (Melissa), Sasha Lane (Bobbi), and Cork-born actress Alison Oliver (Frances) as the four leads, the series will be in very good hands with director Lenny Abrahamson at its helm. 

By now well-familiar with Rooney’s work and how best to adapt it for the screen, Abrahamson was heavily involved in Normal People and is sure to use that experience to his advantage on this next project. Kicking things off up in Belfast, scenes are also due to be filmed in Dublin and at other international locations throughout the year. 

Hoping to mirror the success that Normal People had during lockdown #1, Conversations With Friends will air on RTÉ, BBC, and Hulu in 2022. In the meantime, we have Sally Rooney’s third book Beautiful World, Where Are You to look forward to this September.