In 2015, Michaela Coel’s screenwriting debut was the brilliant Chewing Gum, an E4 comedy that earned her two Baftas, an RTS win, several nominations and a considerable weight of expectation for what she’d write next.
What Coel wrote next is I May Destroy You, a BBC-HBO co-production announced last year under the working title of January 22nd. It’s the autobiographically inspired story of Bella (played by Coel), a young London writer whose drink is spiked on a night out. When she tries to piece together the events of what happened, Bella goes on a personal journey through trauma and pain that examines questions of sexual consent, liberation and exploitation in contemporary London.
Arriving on HBO and BBC One this June, here’s the latest trailer and more…
I May Destroy You Geek Lowdown
How many episodes are there? 12 x 30-minute episodes in season one
Air date: 10.30pm on Sunday 7th June in the US and 10.45pm on Monday 8th June in the UK.
Where to watch? HBO (US) and BBC One (UK)
Created by: Michaela Coel
I May Destroy You Trailer – trauma, laughter and honesty
‘There is so much injustice and my job is to speak the truth’
Get a taste of I May Destroy You’s energetic portrait of young London life in the latest trailer below.
I May Destroy You Synopsis – Black, British, Bold
Here’s the official description from the BBC:
Following triumph from a piece of writing that garnered internet acclaim, Arabella Essiuedu (Coel) – easily distracted, non-committal and carefree – finds herself feted as the ‘voice of her generation,’ with an agent, a book commission and a helluva lot of pressure. After being sexually assaulted in a nightclub, her life changes irreversibly and Arabella is forced to reassess everything: her career, her friends, even her family. As Arabella struggles to come to terms with what has happened, she begins a journey of self-discovery.
I May Destroy You Cast – Chewing Gum, Inside No. 9 and the RSC’s Hamlet
The show’s multi-hyphenate writer and co-director Michaela Coel plays the lead role of Arabella, following on from her performance opposite Harriet Walter in Hugo Blick’s Rwandan Genocide drama Black Earth Rising. You’ll also have seen Coel in not one but two episodes of Black Mirror, including the hugely entertaining ‘USS Callister‘.
Coel is joined by Weruche Opia as Bella’s best friend Terry, a young actor trying to navigate her way through castings and auditions. Opia’s previously had roles in Top Boy, Bad Education, and Inside No. 9 episode ‘Tempting Fate’.
Playing Bella’s other best friend Kwame is Paapa Essiedu, who’s fresh from a starring role in acclaimed Sky One drama Gangs of London, and has previously appeared in BBC One’s Press, Channel 4’s Kiri, as well as playing the lead role in Simon Godwin’s 2016 RSC production of Hamlet.
Joining them in the cast are Marouane Zotti, Aml Ameen, Adam James, Sarah Niles, Ann Akin, Harriet Webb, Ellie James, Franc Ashman, Karan Gill, Natalie Walter and Samson Ajewole.
I May Destroy You Release Date – arriving this June
In the US, episode one debuts on HBO on Sunday June 7th at 10.30 pm.
In the UK it airs on BBC One in the UK a day later on Monday June 8th at 10.45 pm, with episode two following at the same time on Tuesday June 9th. Subsequent episodes will then air on Monday and Tuesday nights from that point.