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Three Families on BBC One: Who is in the cast of the two-part drama?

The hard-hitting episodes tell the stories of three women seeking illegal abortions

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Three Families on BBC One tells the true story of three separate families who are all forced to seek an illegal termination in Northern Ireland – but who is in the cast?

The two-part series relives the heartbreak of those affected by the controversial abortion law in Northern Ireland.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new hard-hitting drama.

Tragedy strikes in Three Families, a moving drama on BBC One (Credit: BBC One)
Tragedy strikes in Three Families, a moving drama on BBC One (Credit: BBC One)

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Three Families cast: Sinéad Keenan stars as Theresa

Sinéad Keenan stars as Theresa Ryan, a mother who is forced to question her own beliefs when her teenage daughter reveals she’s pregnant.

However, the drama is set in 2013, when abortion was illegal in Northern Ireland.

Intent only on protecting her child, religious mother-of-two Theresa makes a hard choice and buys abortion pills for her daughter.

But as word starts to get out, she discovers that she could face a prison sentence for breaking one of Northern Ireland’s most controversial laws.

Viewers will recognise actress Sinéad as Mel Jones in Little Boy Blue, Nina in Being Human, Addams in Doctor Who and Roz in Deep Water.

She’s 43 and was born in Dublin.

Her first role was in 1999, when she was cast as the teenage girlfriend of Cillian Murphy in the film, Sunburn.

Sinead Keenan as Theresa, but is Three Families a true story? (Credit: BBC One)
Sinéad Keenan as Theresa, but is Three Families a true story? (Credit: BBC One)

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Three Families cast: Lola Petticrew is Orla

Lola Petticrew plays Theresa’s young daughter Orla Healy.

Orla is a 15-year-old schoolgirl who seeks to terminate her unwanted pregnancy with the help of her mother.

Bloodlands fans will recognise actress Lola as Izzy Brannick in the BBC One drama, opposite James Nesbitt.

Lola is 25 and born in Belfast.

Viewers might also recognise her as Laura in Come Home.

She will soon portray Jane Seymour in the series Anne Boleyn.

Lola Petticrew as Orla in Three Families
Lola Petticrew as Orla in Three Families (Credit: BBC One)

Three Families cast: Amy James-Kelly is Hannah Kennedy

Young newlywed Hannah is devastated when she learns that her much-wanted baby will not survive the pregnancy.

She and partner Jonathan speak to their doctor about their options, only to realise how limited their choices are.

Former Corrie star Amy James-Kelly plays Hannah, who is thrilled to be pregnant until she discovers the foetus has abnormalities so will be stillborn.

The actress portrayed Maddie Heath in the ITV soap from 2013 to 2015.

She went on to play Martha Quaintain in Jericho, Jenny Delaney in Safe, Suzannah Washington in Gentleman Jack and Grace Marshbrook in The Bay.

Film fans might also recognise her as Sarah in Military Wives.

Amy is 25 and from Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Three Families cast: Colin Morgan is Jonathan Kennedy

Colin Morgan portrays Hannah’s husband and dad-to-be Jonathan.

The actor, 35, is originally from Armagh in Northern Ireland.

TV viewers will recognise Colin for playing the title character in the BBC fantasy series Merlin.

He’s also appeared as Nathan Appleby in The Living and the Dead, DS Tom Anderson in The Fall, and Leo Elster in Humans.

Colin also popped up in Netflix’s The Crown as John Armstrong.

Colin Morgan as Jonathan and Amy James Kelly as Hannah in Three Families (Credit: BBC One)
Colin Morgan as Jonathan and Amy James Kelly as Hannah (Credit: BBC One)

Three Families cast: Genevieve O’Reilly plays Rosie Fortress

Genevieve O’Reilly plays pregnant Rosie.

Doctors diagnose her unborn child with Edward’s Syndrome – a chromosomal abnormality that often results in the baby dying before or soon after birth.

She’s a wealthy married woman with a history of mental health issues.

The actress, 44, is perhaps most famous for her portrayal of Mon Mothma in the Star Wars franchise.

Dublin-born Genevieve also played Sarah Caulfield in Spooks, Jamie Lapidus in Episodes and Angela Worth in Tin Star.

Three Families cast: Prasanna Puwanarajah portrays David Fortress

Doctor Foster’s Prasanna Puwanarajah portrays David, Rosie’s husband.

David is not from Northern Ireland like his wife.

In real life, actor Prasanna was born in Ipswich, London, and is 37.

He recently played Ashley in Defending the Guilty, and is known for his role as James in Doctor Foster.

The actor also popped up in the recent sixth series of Line of Duty as Nadaraja.

Genevieve O'Reilly as Rosie in Three Families (Credit: BBC One)
Genevieve O’Reilly as Rosie in the BBC drama (Credit: BBC One)

OwenMcDonnell plays Mark Ryan

Killing Eve fans will recognise Owen McDonnell as Mark, Theresa’s partner and step-father to teenager Orla.

He’s best known for playing Eve’s husband Niko Polastri in the BBC series Killing Eve, but recently starred as the villain in The Bay.

He’s 46 and from Galway, Ireland.

Kerri Quinn is Louise Byrne

Coronation Street’s Kerri Quinn plays Louise Byrne, Theresa’s best friend.

The 37-year-old is famous for portraying Vicky Jefferies in the ITV soap, and Rita in Derry Girls.

She was born in Belfast.

Three Families airs on Monday May 10 and Tuesday May 11 2021 at 9pm on BBC One.

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