ABC, Screen Australia and Screen NSW have announced that production is underway on the eight-part drama series Wakefield. Made by Jungle Entertainment (Mr InBetween, No Activity, Moody Christmas) in partnership with BBC studios, Wakefield delves into the hidden world of the psychiatric hospital, the series created by Kristen Dunphy.
The cast includes British actor Rudi Dharmalingam (Tin Star, The Split), Mandy McElhinney (Bad Mothers, Squinters) and Geraldine Hakewill (Wanted, Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries), Dan Wyllie, Harriet Dyer, Ryan Corr, Felicity Ward, Harry Greenwood, Sam Simmons, Bessie Holland, Megan Smart, Pacharo Mzembe, Nadie Kammallaweera, Shapoor Batliwalla, Guy Simon, Miritana Hughes, Victoria Haralabidou, Wayne Blair, Heather Mitchell and Kim Gyngell.
Kristen Dunphy and Sam Meikle are the showrunners, writing the series with Joan Sauers and Cathy Strickland, and is Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (Stateless, Les Norton, The Dressmaker) and Kim Mordaunt (The Rocket),
The show follows Nik (Rudi Dharmalingam) who when a song gets stuck in his head, a dark secret from his past begins to intrude into his present, forming an intriguing puzzle that comes together as the series builds to its heart wrenching conclusion.
Head of ABC of Scripted Sally Riley said: “Kristen Dunphy has created a complex, thrilling world in Wakefield that will grip audiences as much as it will challenge them. We’re beyond excited to bring this multilayered story to the screen.”
Screen Australia’s Head of Content Sally Caplan said: “We are thrilled to support this experienced team, including producers Ally Henville and Shay Spencer, to create such an original drama that explores the complexities of mental illness with empathy and humour.”
Jungle Entertainment Executive Producer Chloe Rickard said: “Wakefield is undeniably authentic, poetic and powerful. Despite one in five Australians living with mental illness in their lifetime, social stigma on the issue of mental health still prevails – this series gets right to the heart of this controversial issue, whilst being hugely entertaining.“
Wakefield will be filmed in Sydney, the Southern Highlands and the Blue Mountains.