Sarah Kendall (Photo: Daniel Asher Smith)
UK-based Australian comedian Sarah Kendall is starring in Frayed, a six-part comedy-drama commissioned by the ABC and Sky UK, the first collaboration between the broadcasters.
Kendall created the 1989-set show in which she plays Sammy Cooper, a fabulously wealthy London housewife who is forced to return to her hometown in Australia, where she must revisit her past and the events that led her to flee as a teenager years earlier.
Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s production company Merman Television (Motherland, There She Goes, Women on the Verge, Catastrophe), which developed the project with the ABC and Sky, is co-producing with Kevin Whyte’s Guesswork Television.
Filming is underway in Newcastle and Sydney supported by Create NSW, followed by location shooting in London. Kendall wrote all the episodes. Nicole O’Donohue is the producer and the directors are Jennifer Leacey (Reckoning, Rake, Bite Club) and Shaun Wilson (Rosehaven, The Ex-PM).
The synopsis reads: “Painfully funny and sometimes dark, Frayed is full of complex characters, dubious decisions and unfortunate events; at its heart is the journey of one flawed family confronting their secrets and trying to find a way back.”
The show features an Australian and British ensemble cast to be announced soon, but according to Deadline Matt Passmore (Satisfaction, The Glades) co-stars.
Whyte’s talent management firm Token has long represented the Newcastle-born Kendall, who burst onto the scene at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival and has performed at multiple comedy festivals including Montreal, Kilkenny, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Hong Kong. Her TV writing and performing credits include Beehive (Channel 4) and Comedy Cuts (ITV).
ABC head of comedy Rick Kalowski said: “Frayed is among the funniest, but also most moving, pieces I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on. I’d been a fan of Sarah Kendall’s stand-up for years and am delighted to be collaborating with Sky, Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman and Kevin Whyte’s Guesswork to bring Frayed to Australian and worldwide audiences next year.”
Sky’s head of comedy Jon Montague added: “We can all relate in some way to complex family drama, which is at the heart of this ingeniously written comedy. Sarah Kendall is an exceptional lead.”
Sky Vision will distribute the series internationally.