Alison Steadman and Peter Davison are among the cast in a new BBC One drama series from the team behind Doctor Foster.
Penned by Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett, Life will follow the lives of residents in a large house in Manchester divided into flats whose stories unfold, telling a larger story about what happens to people when they step out of their personal spaces and into other people’s lives.
The series will explore “love, loss, birth, death, the ordinary, the extraordinary and everything in between”, the BBC said.
Filming has started in Manchester on the six-part drama, which also stars Adrian Lester, Victoria Hamilton and Rachael Stirling.
Gavin and Stacey star Steadman plays Gail, who is married to Henry, played by former Doctor Who star Davison.
Gail is about to celebrate her 70th birthday when a chance encounter throws her whole life into question.
Steadman said: “Mike Bartlett is a brilliant writer and has created an extraordinary character in Gail. I’m delighted to be playing her in Life.”
The Crown star Hamilton is a Pilates teacher called Belle whose neatly ordered life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of her chaotic 15-year-old niece Maya (Erin Kellyman).
Lester, known for roles in Hustle and Trauma, plays David, who is happily married to Kelly, portrayed by The Bletchley Circle actress Stirling, but he is conflicted with temptation when he meets the impulsive Saira (Saira Choudhry) on holiday.
Coronation Street actress Melissa Johns plays heavily-pregnant Hannah, whose life with partner Liam (Joshua James) is upended with the arrival of Andy (Calvin Demba), with whom she had a fling nine months earlier.
Musical theatre star Elaine Paige and Susanna Fielding, who appeared in This Time With Alan Partridge, also appear in the series.
Bartlett said: “This show is all about a group of remarkable characters with unexpected desires and hidden secrets, in search of something beyond their everyday lives.”
Referring to the production company behind the Bafta-winning BBC drama Doctor Foster, which starred Suranne Jones, Bartlett added: “It’s just wonderful to have this fantastic cast to tell those stories, and to be working again with Drama Republic for the BBC.”
Ben Irving, executive producer for BBC One, said: “It’s fitting that such an exceptional ensemble cast should be drawn together by Mike Bartlett’s extraordinary scripts. This is a beautiful, tender, funny, and unexpected emotional rollercoaster of a show and we can’t wait to bring it to audiences on BBC One.”