Michelle Terry is serving up a second helping of Sky 1’s seaside sitcom The Cafe (Wednesday), set in her home town of Weston-super-Mare. TV & Satellite Week caught up with the actress, who co-writes the show with Ralf Little and appears as Sarah, one of three generations of women running Cyril’s cafe, to find out what’s on the menu…
Who’s joining the cast of The Cafe in series two?
“We thought: ‘Who can we bring in who would have the most impact on the most people?’ And the answer was Sarah’s estranged dad Phil, who’s played by Robert Glenister. You get Sarah’s, her mum Carol’s and Phil’s different perceptions of why he disappeared.”
Are there any more new faces?
“In the first episode, Ralf’s character Richard and Ava get engaged, so the series is building up to their wedding. That means the inevitable stag and hen dos, and Mackenzie Crook turns up as one of Richard’s friends. We’ve also brought in the brilliant Kobna Holdbrook-Smith to play Jason, a mysterious new character in the town.
If Richard is engaged, is that the end of his will-they-won’t-they relationship with Sarah?
“The will-they-won’t-they is the strength of their relationship, so the longer we can keep it going the better. But Richard is someone who wants to make a commitment, while Sarah hasn’t been and he can’t hang around forever waiting for this girl to make up her mind.
Could Jason be a new potential love interest for Sarah?
“He’s intelligent, bright and intriguing, whereas Richard’s more like a loyal lapdog. There’s something unavailable about Jason.”
Is this your love letter to Weston-super-Mare?
“It represents my perception of Weston. For a town that’s quite big, it feels quite small and an incredibly safe place to be. It’s a town of hopes and dreams that’s had lots of money pumped into it since the pier burnt down.”
How has your life changed since starting on this project?
“I was in my late 20s when The Cafe started, and now I’m in my 30s. It’s been part of a growing-up process, reconnecting with who I am and where I come from.”
Have the local residents got involved with the filming?
“We had an open casting session, so we could get local people involved. We also got students from the local college working as runners. We made it much more of a community project this time round. Rather than this big company, Sky, coming in and imposing itself, we wanted The Cafe to be something that was born out of the town.”
You actually built a seafront cafe to film in. Is there any chance it could become a permanent feature?
“People have loved the cafe and want it to stay. Maybe they could make it a sort of co-operative? That would be perfect.”
What’s next for you?
“I am in a play at the Globe Theatre on the South Bank in London, so I get to spend my summer by the river.”