UK 2023, 70 mins
Directors: Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn

+ panel and Q&A with Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Richard Armitage, Charlie Murphy, Indira Varma and Rish Shah. Chaired by Emma Bullimore.

This thrilling and seductive limited series about erotic obsession and forbidden desire is a contemporary adaptation of Josephine Hart’s bestselling novel Damage. It focuses on a dangerous love triangle that emerges when the enigmatic Anna Barton (Murphy) embarks on a passionate affair with her fiancé’s father William (Armitage). Whilst Anna fights to sustain both relationships, William is drawn into an obsessive spiral. How long can they keep their secret hidden before someone gets hurt?

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm is a playwright and screenwriter. She was commissioned by The Globe to write Emilia which became a hit show in summer 2018 before transferring to the West End in 2019, winning three Olivier awards. She is currently adapting three of her plays for film, including Emilia and Mum. Her adaptation of her play The Wasp completed filming at the end of 2022 starring Naomie Harris and Natalie Dormer and directed by Guillem Morales.

April 2023 will see the release of Obsession, a four-part drama series for Netflix, an adaptation by Morgan of Josephine Hart’s novel Damage, produced by Moonage Pictures and Gaumont UK.

Morgan has worked extensively with Clean Break, a feminist theatre company working with women with experience of prison. Her commission Typical Girls, a play set in a women’s prison featuring the music of The Slits, ran at the Sheffield Crucible in 2021. Her new play Mum ran at Plymouth Theatre Royal and Soho Theatre in 2021, with another new play for High Tide, When the Long Trick’s Over, which toured last year after a run at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. She also runs a theatre company called Terrifying Women with Abi Zakarian, Sampira and Amanda Castro which produces new horror plays written by women.

Morgan’s previous plays Belongings and The Wasp were both produced at the Hampstead Theatre and Trafalgar Studios. Belongings was shortlisted for The Charles Wintour Most Promising Playwright Award.

As an actor Richard Armitage has appeared in many film, television and stage productions and has recently become a published author for the first time with the publication of the acclaimed thriller Geneva (Audible / Faber & Faber).

After his breakout role as John Thornton in the BBC drama North & South, Richard gained momentum on UK shows including Spooks and Robin Hood. He achieved international recognition with his performance in the 2011 box office smash Captain America: The First Avenger opposite Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving, before following it up with his iconic performance as Thorin in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, which has grossed over $1 billion to date.

Richard’s more recent TV work includes Bryan Fuller’s reimagining of Hannibal as Francis Dolarhyde and no fewer than three Harlan Corben thrillers for Netflix Stay Close, The Stranger and the forthcoming Fool Me Once which he is currently filming in Manchester.

Richard can be seen in the third season of EPIX’s espionage drama, Berlin Station opposite Richard Jenkins and Rhys Ifans. He also appeared as the lead villain in Gary Ross’ movie Ocean’s Eight alongside Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, and Mindy Kaling. Richard also starred in Pilgrimage opposite Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal as well as Brain on Fire (directed by Gerard Barrett) opposite Chloe Grace Moretz.

In the theatre world, Richard appeared in Ian Rickson’s interpretation of Uncle Vanya starring opposite Toby Jones. Richard also delivered a critically acclaimed performance as the lead of Arthur Miller’s modern drama, The Crucible, at the Old Vic Theatre. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance. Off Broadway Richard appeared in the play, Love, Love, Love directed by Michael Mayer.

Charlie Murphy is an award-winning Irish actress. She can most recently be seen in the final instalment of the BAFTA-winning series, Happy Valley in which Charlie reprised the role of Ann Gallagher; a part which also garnered her an award for Best Supporting Actress at the Irish Film and Television Awards in 2017. The BBC crime drama follows Yorkshire police officer, Catherine, who, whilst battling family demons, discovers the remains of a gangland murder which sparks a chain of events that unwittingly lead her straight back to the dangerous and sadistic Tommy Lee Royce.

Charlie will star alongside Richard Armitage as the lead in her latest project, Netflix’s upcoming three-part thriller series, Obsession, which will air on the streaming platform in April.

Filming is currently underway for the new season of cult series Halo. Charlie plays Makee in the highly anticipated sci-fi series for Paramount+, based on the wildly popular videogame of the same name, which premiered last year. Dramatising the epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant, the series is a ‘visually stunning thrill-ride, anchored in riveting, character-driven storytelling.’

Channel 5 four-part noir thriller Deadline, which also stars James D’Arcy, was released last year. When Natalie (Charlie) stands accused of murdering her husband in cold blood, a disgraced investigative journalist finds himself captivated by the case. Charlie also appeared in the second series of the hugely popular surveillance thriller, The Capture, for BBC One alongside Holliday Grainger and Paapa Esseidu.

In 2020 Charlie was seen in The Winter Lake opposite Emma Mackey. Set in rural Ireland, this damp and claustrophobic thriller follows troubled teenager Tom, who discovers a sack in a shallow lake containing the bones of a human baby. Her other film credits include Yann Demange’s multi-award winning ‘71, Stephen Frears Philomena, The Foreigner directed by Martin Campbell, The Corrupted alongside Sam Claflin and Timothy Spall and Dark Lies The Island.

Charlie is also recognised as an IFTA winner in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in the hugely popular series Peaky Blinders. Additionally, she played Anne Bronte in Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters for Sally Wainwright, a series lead in Love/Hate for which Charlie won Best Actress at the IFTAs both in 2013 and 2015, and The Village alongside Maxine Peake and John Simm. Other TV credits include The Last Kingdom, Rebellion and Ripper Street.

Charlie’s extensive talents extend beyond TV and film; her stage credits include Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs (Young Vic), Mark O’Rowe’s Our Few and Evil Days (The Abbey Theatre), Enda Walsh’s Arlington (St Ann’s Warehouse, NY/The Abbey Theatre), an Irish Times Theatre Award winning performance in Pygmalion (The Abbey Theatre) and most recently Michael Grandage’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore, by Martin McDonagh (West End).

Since graduating from the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Indira Varma has carved out an incredible career on stage and screen. She became the first woman of Indian/South Asian heritage to win a major award at the Olivier Theatre Awards in 2021. She won ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ for her enthralling performance as ‘Liz Essendine’ in Present Laughter at the Old Vic, opposite Fleabag’s Andrew Scott.

Last year, she starred as Tala in Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+) alongside Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Hayden Christensen, Joel Edgerton and Rupert Friend. She appeared as Irina Arkadina on stage in Jamie Lloyd’s magnificent production of Chekhov’s The Seagull: ‘Indira Varma was in peak form as the charismatically self-regarding actress, Arkadina’ (New York Times) opposite Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke in the West End. She ended 2022 playing fierce Newsnight anchor Khadija Khan in the 2nd thrilling series of The Capture (BBC/AMC) alongside I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu and Holliday Grainger.

Varma stars in the Apple TV anthology series Extrapolations playing Gita Mishra, currently streaming on the Apple TV+. Varma will also star as ‘Ingrid’ in Netflix’s Obsession, an adaptation of the famous feature film Damage originally starring Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche and Miranda Richardson in 1992.

Further screen credits include the feature Crisis with Gary Oldman; Official Secrets (eOne) with Keira Knightley; Ellaria Sand in the multi award-winning international phenomenon Game of Thrones (HBO/SkyAtlantic), Ridley Scott’s Exodus Gods and Kings (20th Century Fox), the iconic British satirical comedy Spitting Image (Britbox), Luther alongside Idris Elba (BBC/Netflix), Silk (BBC), Rome (HBO), Human Target (Fox), Paranoid (Netflix); the Emmy nominated drama Patrick Melrose (HBO/Sky Atlantic) starring Benedict Cumberbatch; critically acclaimed comedy series This Way Up (Channel 4/Hulu) and the ABC drama for life, co-starring Nicholas Pinnock, Kid Cudi, and produced by 50 Cent, based on the real life story of Isaac Wright, Jr.

In her prolific theatre career, Indira has starred as Queen Marguerite in the National Theatre’s production of Eugène Ionesco’s Exit the King opposite Rhys Ifans; Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus (Globe Theatre); opposite Ralph Fiennes in Man and Superman; Bianca in Othello, Ivanov (all at the National Theatre), Twelfth Night, The Vortex, Dance of Death, Privates on Parade (all at the Donmar Warehouse), The Vertical Hour, The Country, Ingredient X (all at the Royal Court), Hysteria (Theatre Royal), The Skin of Our Teeth (Young Vic) and Celebration (on Broadway). She starred in one of the UK’s first theatrical events during the Covid 19 pandemic at London’s Old Vic, in Brian Friel’s Faith Healer ‘a superb Indira Varma in this enthralling streaming production’ (New York Times), which was streamed live to our homes in absence of a live audience. The three-hander also starred Michael Sheen and David Threlfall.

Named one of Variety’s ‘10 Brits to Watch,’ Rish Shah is a rising talent. Shah will next be seen in the Netflix limited thriller series Obsession. He recently completed production on the feature film The Sweet East opposite Talia Ryder and Jacob Elordi, directed by Sean Price Williams. He will also be seen in the Amazon Studios’ romantic comedy Sitting in Bars with Cake opposite Bette Midler and Yara Shahidi.

Last year, Shah joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe and made his debut as superpowered teen Kamran in the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, which currently boasts a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Shah made his feature film debut in 2021 as Ravi in the Netflix film To All the Boys: Always and Forever, followed by playing Varun Dutta in the romantic comedy film India Sweets and Spices opposite Sophia Ali. He then went on to play Russ opposite Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes in the Netflix hit teen comedy film Do Revenge, directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. He also appeared in Riz Ahmed’s Oscar winning short film The Long Goodbye.

Shah made his professional stage debut in London playing Alan in the critically-acclaimed production of Torch Song Trilogy at London’s Turbine Theatre, directed by Olivier Award-winning Drew McOnie.

Entertainment journalist and BBC radio presenter, Emma Bullimore has been writing about television for more than a decade. She frequently appears on radio and television, including BBC Breakfast, BBC 5Live, Times Radio and Radio 4’s Front Row, as well as being the resident TV critic on Jo Whiley’s Radio 2 show. She regularly chairs live events for the likes of BAFTA, the BFI and the BBC.

Directors: Lisa Barros D’Sa. Glenn Leyburn
Production Companies: Netflix, Gaumont UK, Moonage Pictures
Executive Producer (Gaumont UK): Alison Jackson
Executive Producers (Moonage Pictures): Matthew Read, Frith Tiplady
Co-Producer (Moonage Pictures): Matthew Wilson Producer: Gina Carter
Writer & Associate Producer: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
Writer: Benji Wilson
Casting Director: Jina Jay
Line Producer: Wendy Wright
Production Manager: Anna Botka
Production Accountant: Theresa Mckay-Roberts
Director of Photography: Piers McGrall
Editors: Sam Sneade, Kate Baird
Production Designer: John Stevenson
Supervising Art Director: Ben Clements
Art Director: Lissa Lamona
Costume Designer: Keith Madden
Hair & Make-up Designer: Sian Miller
Location Manager: Peter-Frank Dewulf
Sound Recordist: Cassandra Rutledge
SFX Supervisor: Nigel Cripps
Stunts Coordinator: Sarah Franzl

Richard Armitage (William Farrow)
Charlie Murphy (Anna Barton)
Indira Varma (Ingrid Farrow)
Rish Shah (Jay Farrow)
Pippa Bennett-Warner (Peggy)
Sonera Angel (Sally Farrow)
Anil Goutam (Edward)
Marion Bailey (Elizabeth)
Francesca Knight (Nadia)
Oscar Batterham (David)
Letty Thomas (Lynnette)
Ed Hughes (psychotherapist)
Celine Arden (Mimi)
Cath Whitefield (female police officer)
Victor Pontecorvo (Olivier)
Kerim Hassan (Johnno)
Nathan Hubble (Xander)
Georgie Rhys (officiant)
Isla Jackson-Ritchie (Peggy’s receptionist)
Jane Dowden (neighbour)

UK 2023
Episodes 1&2 70 mins

Total running time 120 mins

TV Preview: Obsession + panel and Q&A with Richard Armitage, Charlie Murphy and Morgan Lloyd-Malcolm
Thu 6 Apr 18:15
TV Preview: Dead Ringers + panel and Q&A with Rachel Weisz, Alice Birch and Britne Oldford
Tue 11 Apr 17:45
Storm Damage + panel discussion and Q&A with Ashley Walters, Adrian Lester and Ashley Madekwe (work permitting)
Thu 13 Apr 18:00
Alan Bennett in Conversation + Objects of Affection: A Woman of no Importance +Talking Heads 2: Waiting for the Telegram
Mon 17 April 18:10
BFI Flipside UHD/Blu-ray launch: Full Circle: The Haunting of Julia + Q&A with director Richard Loncraine and film historian Simon Fitzjohn
Wed 19 Apr 18:10
The Duellists + Q&A with composer Howard Blake
Mon 24 Apr 18:10
Theorem (Teorema) + intro and talk with Bruce LaBruce, and Doesn’t Exist magazine launch
Thu 27 Apr 18:00

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Programme notes and credits compiled by Sight and Sound and the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
Questions/comments? Contact the Programme Notes team by email