Emily Watson to star in BBC's Apple Tree Yard adaptation

Emily Watson to star in BBC's Apple Tree Yard adaptation

Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin are to star in BBC One's adaptation of Apple Tree Yard (Faber), the "provocative, audacious thriller" by Louise Doughty.

Made by Kudos, the producers of "Broadchurch" and "Humans", "Apple Tree Yard" is a thriller that "puts women’s lives at the heart of a gripping, insightful story about the values we live by and the choices we make,” a BBC spokesperson said.

Married with two grown-up children, Watson's character, Yvonne Carmichael, lives a contented, conventional suburban life. But her world spirals into chaos when a chance encounter leads to an impulsive and passionate affair with a charismatic stranger, played by Chaplin.

"Despite all her careful plans to keep her home life and career safe and separate from her affair, fantasy and reality soon begin to overlap and everything she values is put at risk as a life-changing act of violence leads to a Crown Court trial", the programme's description added. "Yvonne’s downward trajectory is searingly realised; hers is a life ripped apart as the consequence of one, single, spur-of-the-moment decision. A decision any one of us might make."

The deal with Kudos was negotiated by Rebecca Watson of VHA on behalf of Antony Harwood at Antony Harwood Literary Agency.

Watson said: “I am both relishing and daunted by the prospect of taking on this role; it’s grown up, steamy and of queasy moral complexity.”

Writer of the adaptation, Amanda Coe said: “Apple Tree Yard is that rare thing, a perfectly executed page-turner that’s also a gripping exploration of the difficult moral choices we face in adult relationships.”

Doughty’s eighth novel, Black Water, about espionage, love and redemption, will be published by Faber on 2nd June.

Hannah Griffiths, fiction publisher at Faber, said: "In Black Water, Louise Doughty delves into the story of one man's battle with his past. Once again, Louise has delivered a novel of great power and emotional complexity that centres on a morally ambiguous character. It will be Faber's major summer release."