Normal People was arguably the book of 2019, moonlighting in the Instagram feeds of just about every celebrity and influencer on the platform. Hell, while the world spends time in isolation, and with nothing more exciting to do than power through their reading lists, you may even have seen the aesthetic cover crop up once more.
The novel won critical acclaim with 2019’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and entered the New York Times Bestseller list at #3. Now, author Sally Rooney’s popular follow-up to Conversations with Friends is hitting the silver screen in a 12-part series produced by Element Pictures for BBC Three. In Australia, you will be able to stream the series exclusively on Stan from Monday, April 27.
The long-anticipated series stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and newcomer Paul Mescal as Connell — the lovers in the story. The official synopsis reads: “Normal People tracks the tender but complicated relationship of Marianne and Connell from the end of their school days in small-town West of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College, Dublin.
“At school, he’s well-liked and popular, while she’s lonely, proud and intimidating. A strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers – one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin and Marianne has found her feet in a new social world, but Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain.”
Filming for Normal People wrapped in late 2019. The novel is set in Dublin, and so the Irish city was used in the filming for the series, as well as parts of Italy.
Carricklea, the fictional town where the main characters reside, was represented by the coastal town of Tubbercurry in Sligo, Ireland. The Irish Independent reports that some New Year’s Eve scenes were shot here, in Brennan’s Pub.
Additional scenes were said to be shot at the St John the Evangelist Church and another pub by the name of Killoran’s. The cast also stayed at the local Sligo Park Hotel during filming (for anyone interested in following in the footsteps of Marianne and Connell).
As the book follows the characters on their way through university, Trinty College in Dublin was used. The university is already a hot tourist spot in the area, having backdropped a range of films already.
In the novel, the protagonists take part in a group holiday to Trieste, Italy. While we know the cast and crew visited the boot-shaped country during filming, it’s not yet been confirmed where scenes were shot.
We’ll have to wait until the show drops for more information.