From the creators of Motherland and Bad Sisters comes Dreamland, a new working-class family comedy set in the seaside town of Margate.

Written by Motherland and Catastrophe creator Sharon Horgan and featuring Lily Allen in her lead acting debut alongside former Doctor Who star Freema Agyeman, Dreamland is the story of four sisters and female relationships in a multi-generational family.

It’s a series filled with laughter, tears and lots of heart, plus a healthy dollop of British summer sunshine. And the whole series has dropped on Sky Atlantic with NOW, just in time for an Easter Bank Holiday binge.

Featuring some of the best British comedy talent, here is everything you need to know about the cast and characters of Dreamland…

Will there be a Dreamland series 2? Everything we know so far 

Dreamland cast list

  • Freeman Agyeman – Plays Trish
  • Lily Allen – Plays Mel
  • Kiell Smith-Byno – Plays Spence
  • Gabby Best – Plays Clare
  • Aimee-Ffion Edwards – Plays Leila
  • Frances Barber – Plays Mum
  • Sheila Reid – Plays Nan
  • Samantha Bond - Plays Orla
  • Hugh Coles - Plays Dom
  • Martina Laird -Plays Diane
  • Alistair Green - Plays the Mayor
  • Nigel Planer - Plays Hamish

Dreamland review: Lily Allen comedy is a perfect Bank Holiday binge

Lily Allen – Plays Mel

Lily Allen as Mel in Dreamland

"Mel is a bit of a dark horse within the family make up," says Allen. "She had aspirations outside of Margate where her family live. She’s tried to make a life for herself away from that all, and that’s failed, and she has now returned.

"She loves her family, each person for different reasons. I think she just feels a bit misunderstood, and maybe not heard and not seen."

The singer fully immersed herself in Margate for the role, renting a house with kids during an "excruciatingly hot" summer of filming.

Talking about her similarities to Mel, she added: "I've felt very misunderstood in my life. I'll seem very visually present to people in my life but at the same time not really understood or listened to. I think that’s what attracted me to Mel in the first place, the similarities not the differences. I felt an affinity with her."

Where have you seen Lily Allen before?

Lily Allen enjoyed three UK No.1 singles and two No.1 albums in a music career which began in 2006. She appeared alongside brother Alfie in 2019 film How to Build a Girl, and recently played the lead role of Jenny in West End play 2:22 A Ghost Story.

Freema Agyeman – Plays Trish

Freema Agyeman as Trish in Dreamland

"We meet her at a time in her life where she is a happy family woman, at the core of her family unit," explains Agyeman.

"She is married to Spence who together have two kids and another on the way. Very quickly we discover that she has endured so much trauma; three miscarriages in two years. She is quite the fighter. She is bruised and vulnerable but with aspirations and dreams."

Agyeman was "champing at the bit" to get the role of Trish, immediately recognising the characters in the show.

"When I look across my career, this is the closest to centre to my own life. I couldn’t have hoped for something more British for my homecoming!"

Where have you seen Freema Agyeman before?

Doctor Who, The Matrix Resurrections, New Amsterdam, The Carrie Diaries, Law and Order UK

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Gabby Best – Plays Clare

Gabby Best as Clare in Dreamland

"Clare is very much the rock of the family, steady and dependable," explains Best.

"She’s spent years absorbing everyone else’s drama and she’s perhaps reaching saturation point. To be so heavily relied on, yet completely overlooked… I was drawn to that disconnect, and what it might do to a person. She’s essentially a human buckaroo, just loaded with baggage."

Best, who is also one of the writers for the series, says she hopes that the show can explore her character more in series 2.

"I hope not to paint her as a straightforward martyr. There’s a degree to which Clare is using these duties as an excuse to avoid looking at her own life," said Best.

Where have you seen Gabby Best before?

Pls Like, The Pact, Morgana Robinson’s Summer, Lovesick

Aimee-Ffion Edwards – Plays Leila

Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Leila in Dreamland

"Leila is the youngest sister of the family. She’s so warm and caring, abeit quite complex, but sees life simply," says Edwards.

"I'm one of four sisters so I really resonated with the shifting sister dynamics in the script."

Edwards added: "Out of all of them, Leila likes confrontation the least, although she will stand up and back any of her siblings. She hates drama but always finds herself wrapped up in it."

Talking about her scenes with nan, played by screen legend Sheila Reid, she said: "I had a few pinch-me moments. In between takes I would be thinking, I could not be in a better place right now. She was so generous and funny and supportive."

Where have you seen Aimee-Ffion Edwards before?

Skins, Peaky Blinders, Detectorists, Inside No.9, Loaded, Luther

Frances Barber – Plays Cheryl/Mum

Frances Barber as mum Cheryl in Dreamland

"I play the mother of four grown-up girls who are all very different and each, we presume, with different fathers," reveals Barber.

"She's on a new path, which I think a lot of mothers do when their kids grow up. She has embarked on her first ever gay love affair, which she is keeping a secret from the family."

Talking about Cheryl's new relationship further, Barber said: "We rarely see older women on screen having sex and being excited by having sex! We had a brilliant intimacy coordinator which was a first for me and was brilliant because you there is somebody looking out for you."

Talking about the possibility of introducing her daughters' fathers to the show, Barber joked: "It would be like Mamma Mia! We could all burst into song. Margate's not quite the Greek Islands though.

"Nobody really talks about the fathers; we don't really know anything about them, which I think is quite common nowadays. That might be an interesting route to unravel."

Where have you seen Frances Barber before?

Psychobitches, Silk, Doctor Who, Prick Up Your Ears, We Think The World of You

Sheila Reid – Plays Nan

Sheila Reid as Nan in Dreamland

"Nan is a bit of a legend in Margate. Always up for a challenge and she wakes up every morning excited at what the day may bring," said TV legend Reid.

"It is very funny, very moving and includes great roles for women! It's wonderful to play a character with so may levels. Nan is a gift and a positive life force.

"To play a matriarch of this wonderfully, unruly opinionated family – what a treat to be asked to be part of it."

Where have you seen Sheila Reid before?

Benidorm, Containment, Murder on the Blackpool Express

Kiell Smith-Bynoe – Plays Spence

Kiell Smith-Bynoe as Spence in Dreamland

"I play Spence, the husband of eldest sister Trish and together we’re expecting our third child which Trish really hopes will be a girl," said Smith-Bynoe.

"The series follows the build-up to the birth and the goings on with the family along the way, including the return of Mel, the most elusive sister."

On the subject of being a rare man on set, he said: "This felt different, but I didn’t feel out of place as I grew up surrounded by women."

He added: "From as early as the read through, I knew that Dreamland was going to be great. I knew so because of the great actors on board.

"It’s a comedy drama because the programme includes very dramatic topics and subjects yet tackles them in a sensitive, funny and relatable way."

Where have you seen Kiell Smith-Bynoe before?

Ghosts, Stath Lets Flats, Man Like Mobeen

Stream every episode of Dreamland on Sky Atlantic with NOW

Watch all the TV you love on BT TV

Catch your favourite shows and all the best sport with our flexible TV packages.  Entertainment packs include Netflix and Sky channels from NOW.