'Together' — release date, cast, plot and everything you need to know

James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan in Together
Together on BBC2 stars James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan. (Image credit: BBC)

Together is a new BBC2 film from multi award-winning writer, Dennis Kelly, set at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020, just as the world went into lockdown. 

This funny but poignant love story will shine a light on what it was like for one family to live side-by-side during a pandemic. 

The official summary says: "This is the story of a family, like so many, who found a way to survive — together. It is the hilarious and heartbreaking story of a husband and wife who are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship through the reality of lockdown."

Together release date

Together will be broadcast on BBC2 on Thursday June 16 at 9pm, it will then become available on BBC iPlayer. We haven't any news on the US release date or if it's heading to another streaming service, but we will post when we find out.

What is the plot of Together? 

Together is the story of a family, who like everyone else in the world found themselves stuck in lockdown together at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. This is a hilarious and heartbreaking film that follows an estranged married couple who are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship through the stark realities of lockdown. 

Speaking of the BBC2 film, writer Dennis Kelly explains: "Together is about a couple who totally hate each other, but have somehow found a way of existing together by not talking to, thinking about, noticing, communicating with or being in the same room as each other — then lockdown happens. 

"It’s about how humans negotiate their shared experiences when they think they have nothing in common other than staying alive, and it's about how you can hate what you love and love what you hate. And Sharon Horgan and James McAvoy are brilliant in it."

Dennis adds: "The couple cannot stand each other. I think they‘ve not really spoken in probably about 10 years other than to pass each other. They’ve worked out this perfect equilibrium of not having to exist within the same space but kind of existing within the same space. 

"Politically they’re from completely different ends of the spectrum - they are just not the kind of people who should be together, but they just happen to have a kid. They stay together for their child because that’s what a lot of people do, and somehow they’ve managed to find this way of living together which involves them not seeing each other or communicating in any way. So lockdown is just the worst thing that could possibly happen for them."

James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan in Together

Together is set in March 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.  (Image credit: BBC)

Who stars in Together? 

Together boasts some huge names, with James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan taking the lead roles. 

Bafta award-winning and Golden Globe nominated actor, James McAvoy, plays He — a self employed, self-made man who runs a boutique computing consultancy. He’s been forced to furlough his staff and take up growing vegetables — something he’s very proud of.

James is best known for his role as Charles Xavier/Professor X in the X-Men franchise, as well as Split, His Dark Materials, Atonement and Wanted

Bafta award-winning and Emmy nominated actress, writer, comedian and producer, Sharon Horgan, plays She — a charity worker who co-ordinates for all of Europe at a refugee charity. She’s the daughter of a dentist father and an "old socialist" mother — the only grandparent still around.

Sharon is known for appearing in Catastrophe, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and Military Wives. Sharon is also the genius writer behind BBC2 comedy Motherland

Sharon Horgan on her character, SHE

Speaking of her role in Together, Sharon says: "I think everyone who got involved in this film had no intention of doing a Covid drama but then we read Dennis’ script and changed our minds. 

"We shot this in 10 days so it was a beautifully stressful experience. Working with Dennis again — and Stephen Daldry and James McAvoy, both of whom I’ve admired for years, was a joy. 

"But it also felt like we were making something important. And the fact that it feels like news means that the Covid death toll, the tragedy of so many lives lost unnecessarily has not been talked about enough.

"SHE is a product of Dennis Kelly’s imagination so I think she’s sort of a mixture of me and Dennis combined but that’s the only way I could describe her.

"We rehearsed it like a play and that’s not something you usually get to do with television. You don’t get a chance to rehearse and if you do, it is only a few hours here and there."

Sharon also opened up about what it was like to work with James... "It was so extraordinary to spend that time with James and I’ve honestly never seen anything like him at work. He was someone I really, really admired before but over the course of working on Together he just became my favourite actor because not only is he incredibly funny, like one of the funniest people I have ever worked with; he has access to such a well of emotion."

James McAvoy on his character, HE

James McAvoy in Together

James McAvoy stars (Image credit: BBC / Arty Films Ltd / Peter Mountain)

Speaking of why he wanted to be a part of Together, James says: "Dennis writes so wittily for these characters and his script had me within the first few pages. When I heard Sharon was involved with Stephen Daldry directing it was a no brainer. 

"It’s a hilarious, heartfelt, entertaining and unconsciously funny exploration of a relationship and a couple facing real tragedy across a year we have all lived through."

James also says his character, HE, is very much like him... "HE is a man very much like myself. He looks like me, same age as me, from somewhere not that dissimilar to me - he’s from Kilmarnock and I’m from Glasgow, so not that far away. HE’s a working-class guy who’s done well for himself, made some money; he’s elevated himself into the middle classes. HE loves his son very much and I think both HE and SHE stayed together for their child, which I think is not that uncommon to do. There’s not too much love or companionship in the relationship and there’s certainly no hanky panky. They’re conscious of the state of their relationship though and they talk quite openly about the fact that they really are only together for their son. They’ve made peace with that."

James also revealed there is a lot of talking to the audience in this film... "We do talk to the audience and I love that. We don’t do it all of the time but it’s one of my favourite things to do. Actors don’t get the chance to do that very often in film or television."

Is there a trailer for Together? 

Not yet, but as soon as one is released we will add it to this page. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.