‘Last Tango’ star developing William Shakespeare life story drama series

Sarah Lancashire has teamed up with the creator of Peaky Blinders for a new TV series!

Writer Steven Knight is working on a period drama about the life of William Shakespeare.

The upcoming series is based on a concept by Last Tango in Halifax star Sarah Lancashire.

Originally known for her role in Coronation Street, the 58-year-old actress went on to appear in the likes of Where the Heart Is, Clocking Off, Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise, and Happy Valley.

Lancashire’s production company Via Pictures is developing the Shakespeare series.

“Via Pictures are very pleased to be collaborating with Kudos and the brilliant Steven Knight to screen the remarkable story of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries,” she said.

“This is a thrilling project about a golden age beset by plague, Puritanism and deadly politics,” the actress revealed.

It’ll be written by Steven Knight and filmed at this brand new studios in Birmingham, England.

“I’m excited to be embarking on what will be a landmark TV production telling the dramatic story of the world’s most accomplished writer,” commented the Peaky Blinders writer.

“It’s a period I love and the team that has been put together is extraordinary,” added Knight. “It’s a story that begins in the West Midlands and is close to my heart.”

Peaky Blinders aired its final season last year and the much-anticipated movie is set to begin filming soon.

Variety reports that Knight and Lancashire’s currently untitled Shakespeare series will tell “the complete story of the glove-maker’s son who became the greatest storyteller in history and how his genius survived and thrived in an age of turmoil and terror, danger and disease.

“It aims to be the first full account of the passion, people and politics that made William Shakespeare the world’s most famous dramatist and the men and women around him who loved and labored, schemed and plotted, killed and connived in one of the most dangerous periods in history.”

Karen Wilson (Spooks) and Martin Haines (SAS Rogue Heroes) will be executive producers on the show.

“Sarah’s idea has huge scale and high drama,” the pair said. “And with Steven Knight writing, this is an unbelievably exciting project which we can’t wait to get on screen.

Wilson and Haines are also currently getting ready to make another season of SAS Rogue Heroes.

Sarah Lancashire returned to our screens earlier this year with the third and final season of Happy Valley, with Grantchester star James Norton reprising his role as Tommy Lee Royce.

There’s no news yet on which broadcaster will be airing this new Shakespeare series, which is expected to air in 2024 or 2025.

We’re also still patiently waiting to hear if there will be more episodes of Last Tango in Halifax!

Happy Valley is available to watch on AMC+ with a free 7-day trial.