Rules of the Game will make its debut on BBC One this week.
The gripping four-part thriller enlists a star-studded cast including Maxine Peake, who returns to the screen after her incredible performances in Anne, Sex Education’s Rakhi Thakkar, Gavin & Stacey star Alison Steadman and Enola Holmes actor Susan Vukoma .
Written by Ruth Fowler, the play takes a look at sexual politics in the modern workplace and follows Chief Operating Officer Sam who arrives at work one morning to find a dead body in an office reception.
Read more: When do the rules of the game start on BBC One? Description of new play
Sam is forced to contemplate killer mysteries of the past not only with ambiguous behavior in the present, but with the new HR director, Maya, who is trying to shake up old-fashioned lad culture, and Initiates investigations into historical cases of misconduct.
A BBC synopsis reads: “Sam is brash, brash, and his desire to play with the boys has meant he has climbed to the top of the ladder at sportswear company Fly. As COO, this is a sight to behold. He’s comfortable with. Maya, the newly hired human resources director, has a very different perspective.
She and Sam collide from their first meeting, and dark secrets begin to emerge as Maya begins to uncover the toxic workplace culture. Soon both she and Sam are questioned about a young female employee, Amy. who died mysteriously after a company party a few years ago.
“Shocked by a sudden horrific death on the company premises, Sam faces police questions, and finds himself pulled in all directions: by his loyalty to the company, by his own family, by Maya, and by Amy’s death. From new revelations about. , ten years ago. Two deaths, a toxic workplace. How guilty is the company – and how guilty is Sam?”
Maxine Peak Sam Thompson plays a hard-headed manager at a family-run business in North West.
Speaking about the plot and her character, Maxine said: “The show is set in a family-run sportswear company run by the Jenkins family. There is a strong air of toxic masculinity that runs through the work force and work practices.
“Maya, a young woman who plays the new HR director, comes under investigation and as things begin to unravel, secrets of the past are uncovered. What was then and what is now.
“My character is at the center of it and for me, it’s about whether he is contained or a victim of this whole dynamic.
“Obviously it’s not just about this company, it’s about something that is organized in all forms across workplaces and institutions.”
BBC viewers will recognize Maxine from her recent incredible performance in the ITV drama Anne, which was about the real-life devastation following the Hillsborough disaster.
Maxine has also had roles in Black Mirror, Shameless, Silk and Dinnerladies.
Rakhi Thakri Maya Benshaw plays the newly-appointed Human Resources director, who tries to shake up old-fashioned child culture, and begins investigating historical cases of misconduct.
Describing her character, Maya said: “Maya is the definition of optimism, she absolutely loves her job, she loves HR.
“HR is problem-solving and watching people and seeing how best I can help them and she loves to see people flourish. She loves yoga, she has a cute cat named Audrey Yes, he is a vegetarian.
“On the surface he’s very simple and appears to have gotten his life together, but then you see it takes a lot of work to make that happen.”
Rakhi is best known for her roles in Sex Education and EastEnders as well as the recent BBC drama The Girl Before. You can read more about this here.
Alison Steadman Anita plays the cold, harsh widow of Harry, a board member and founder of the narcotic company.
Fans will recognize Alison from her role as the iconic Pam Shipman in the BBC One sitcom Gavin & Stacey and most recently in the BBC drama Life.
Plus, of course, Shirley Valentine as the Nuts and Boomers at Abigail’s party, May.
Di Eve Preston
Susan Vukoma DI plays Eve Preston, a highly motivated, no-nonsense detective investigating a case centered around the company.
The actor recently starred in the huge Netflix hit Enola Holmes as well as Chewing Gum and Truth Seekers.
Also in Rules of the Game are Kieran Bev (Warrior), Ben Batt (Scott & Bailey), Kelly Cook (The Stranger), Katherine Pearce (Three Girls) and Zoe Tapper (Lyre).
Maxine said of the cast: “What a wonderful cast. Working with my fellow sisters every day, with their commitment to and understanding of Ruth Fowler’s scripts about sexual politics in the workplace, with Jennifer Sheridan directing, Reminds me once again why we need to keep fighting to give more women a voice in the filmmaking process.”
Rules of the Game makes its debut on BBC One on Tuesday, 11 January at 9 pm.
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