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What is BBC Three's Conversations with Friends about? Plotline of series adapted from Sally Rooney book

By Jonathon Manning

Conversations with Friends is the latest drama coming to BBC Three. The series has been adapted from Sally Rooney's award-winning book of the same title.

The series follows Frances (played by Alison Oliver), an "observant, cerebral and sharp" young woman and her best friend and ex-girlfriend Bobbi (Sasha Lane). Despite having broken up three years ago, the pair are inseparable.

Together Frances and Bobbi perform spoken-word poetry around Dublin. But at one of their shows, they meet an older writer and the meeting changes their lives.

READ MORE: RTE Late Late Show viewers left in awe of courageous Saoirse Ruane

The pair meet Melissa (Jemima Kirke) who becomes fascinated by the two younger women. Bobbi and Frances then begin to spend more and more time with Melissa and her husband, the attractive but reserved, Nick (Joe Alwyn).

But it doesn't take long before things become more the relationship dynamic changes. Melissa and Bobbi are soon openly flirting with each.

Sasha Lane as Bobbi (BBC)

Frances and Nick take things even further and embark on an intense, secret affair which is "surprising to them both". The affair soon begins to test the bond between Frances and Bobbi and forces Frances to "reconsider her sense of self, and the friendship she holds so dear".

The series' director Lenny Abrahamson said that the series challenges the idea of what a traditional relationship is.

He said: "Part of it is asking questions about what forms healthy relationships can take, and challenging traditional ideas of what a successful relationship is. It questions monogamy and how a person could love more than one other person in a way which is ethical. It’s also about the self-absorption in all of us as we hit early adulthood; in the effort to discover who you are, it is easy to lose the simple truth that it’s in your relationships with others and in the generosity of those relationships, that you find yourself.

"Frances, through a lot of the story, is so caught up in her own journey and assessment of where she stands with regards to other people, that she’s in danger of destroying the best relationship she has, which is with Bobbi, her best friend and ex-lover. As a rough idea of what the shape of this story is, you could say it’s about how Frances having a relationship with this other person, Nick, is the thing that unlocks aspects of the relationship with Bobbi that she was letting die, or not attending to."

The first episode of Conversation with Friends will air on BBC Three on May 15. All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer.

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Dive Deeper:
Conversations with Friends review: A conspicuously de-Irished adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best book
Book based on the Irish author’s debut novel is slow, solipsistic and self-satisfied – but it has a sort of…
Karla Peterson: Hulu's adaptation of Sally Rooney's 'Conversations with Friends' leaves many things unsaid
In Hulu's new adaption of Sally Rooney's 2017 novel "Conversations with Friends," one look on actress Alison Oliver's face is…
‘Conversations with Friends’ review: Carnal desires and the complications that arise afterward
There’s a conversation that bubbles up every so often about the absence of sex scenes in contemporary film: Why is…
Conversations With Friends review – TV so slow it must be trolling us
Sally Rooney’s second TV adaptation is an aggressively uneventful affair stuffed with meaningful looks and strained silences. Why doesn’t anyone…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
‘It’s phenomenal’ – Taylor Swift gives Conversations With Friends her stamp of approval
Taylor Swift has given her seal of approval to Irish drama Conversations With Friends as it hits our screens this…
Conversation stopper: Why the BBC’s new Sally Rooney adaptation is an epic fail
The writer’s debut, ‘Conversations with Friends’, is her fans’ favourite, but we’re locked out of what makes the novel relatable…
Get all your news in one place