Set against the backdrop of 18th century Georgian London, Harlots is a powerful family drama offering a brand new take on the city’s most valuable commercial activity – sex. Based on the stories of real women, the series follows Margaret Wells (Morton) and her daughters, as she struggles to reconcile her roles as mother and brothel owner. When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley (Manville), a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret will fight back, even if it means putting her family at risk. Brown Findlay will star as Charlotte, Margaret’s eldest daughter and the city’s most coveted courtesan who begins to grapple with her position in both society and her immediate family.
Written by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter, Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre, Tamara Drewe) and based upon an original idea by Moira Buffini and Alison Newman, Harlots is the first commission for Monumental Pictures, the independent company founded by Oscar nominated producers Alison Owen (Suffragette, Tulip Fever) and Debra Hayward (Bridget Jones’s Baby, Les Misérables).
The series began filming in London in June 2016 and will be directed by Coky Giedroyc (What Remains, Penny Dreadful) and China Moo-Young (Thirteen, Humans). Lawrence Till (Mr Selfridge, Shameless) will serve as producer of the series, and Alison Owen and Debra Hayward serve as executive producers alongside Alison Carpenter, Moira Buffini and Alison Newman.