Currently starring as spy boss Angela Burr in The Night Manager on BBC1, busy actress Olivia Colman can soon be seen in another drama, this time on C4.

The channel released details of the dark comedy drama which is to be screened later in the spring. Flowers tells the tale of the eccentric and dysfunctional Flowers family, who are on the verge of falling apart. Children’s author Maurice, played by The Mighty Boosh star Julian Barratt, is married to music teacher Deborah (Colman), and although their marriage has long since been dead in the water, the couple haven’t got round to getting a divorce.

As Maurice fights his inner demons and dark secrets, Deborah is desperate to keep  the family together, whatever the cost, and she becomes increasingly suspicious that her husband is having a homosexual affair with Japanese illustrator Shun, played by the show’s creator Will Sharpe. Viewers will know Will from Casualty because he played trainee doctor Yuki in the medical drama.

“I feel very lucky to be making Flowers with Kudos, Channel 4 and Seeso,” said Will. “They’ve been really supportive and pushed me to make bold decisions on a show that aims both to celebrate and challenge the traditional family sitcom format. The characters in this show are all trying to break free in some way. In part, it’s a comedy about the different ways of feeling trapped or alone and how difficult it can be to admit that’s how you’re feeling.”

The Flowers family live in a messy, creaky, crumbling old house with Maurice’s ailing mother Hattie (Leila Hoffman) and their twentysomething twins Amy (Sophia di Martino) and Donald (Daniel Rigby), who are both competing for the affection of neighbour Abigail (Georgina Campbell). Also starring in the drama is Anna Chancellor, who plays Deborah’s vivacious sister Viv.

“Flowers is the kind of deliciously dark world we love at C4,” said Deputy Head of Comedy, Nerys Evans. “The word ‘dysfunctional’ doesn’t come close to describing quite how brilliantly peculiar the Flowers family are. Will Sharpe’s wonderful writing and direction coupled with an amazing cast has led us to an unbelievably original piece and we are delighted to have it on the channel.”

Meanwhile, Naomi de Pear, who developed and produced the series for Kudos said: “Flowers is perhaps the saddest comedy I’ve come across but it’s also very silly. Working with the very talented Will, Channel 4, Seeso and the extraordinary cast to bring to life this emotional and unique vision about the awful and funny pain of being in a family has been brilliant fun. Flowers has an other-worldly quality to it, even though it’s about real characters and real emotions.”