Karla-Simone Spence as Frannie (left) and Sophie Cookson as Marguerite Benham in The Confessions of Frannie Langton. Photograph: ITVX/Drama Republic
Part whodunnit, part queer romance tale, The Confessions of Frannie Langton is subverting the genre. Its writer and star explain a dark, twisted drama – and its route to murder
‘Iwill not confess to something I don’t believe I have done.” Frannie Langton is a maid who has been charged with the murders of her masters after waking up in a dress soaked in blood. She can’t piece together what really happened, but she swears innocence. “I’m fed up of people like you deciding who I am or what I am as soon as you take one look at me,” she growls at her legal brief, who, like everybody else, assumes she did it. And with that, The Confessions of Frannie Langton promises one hell of a gutsy story.
Set in the 19th century, the programme stars Karla-Simone Spence as Frannie, who grew up on a plantation in Jamaica, then was brought to England and given to Marguerite (Sophie Cookson) and George Benham (Stephen Campbell Moore). “No doubt you’re thinking this will just be another one of those slave histories all sugared over with misery and despair,” she narrates. “It won’t be.” Indeed, this is a story about love; an unexpected and illicit affair with Marguerite (or “Madam”, as Frannie calls her).