At the centre of the epidemic are intense and clever Lydia Lamont (MAISIE WILLIAMS) and admired and rebellious Abbie Mortimer (FLORENCE PUGH), both sixteen years old. They carve their initials into a majestic English oak tree, which leans over a magical pond, and vow never to lose touch. But Lydia already feels that Abbie is drifting away from her and soon her fears are confirmed.
A gang of committed friends including prefect Susan (ANNA BURNETT), who longs to be Abbie, and skeptical Titch (ROSE CATON) who remains unaffected by the fainting, surround Lydia. But none of them can take Abbie’s place. Only her older brother, loner, occult-follower and ley-line believer Kenneth (JOE COLE), is able to provide some solace. When the sympathetic young art teacher Miss Charron (MORFYDD CLARK) tries to reach out to Lydia, she herself becomes caught up in the fainting epidemic.
Within the volatile, strange atmosphere of the school and her troubled home-life, Lydia feels driven to discover what is really behind everything that seems wrong. As the fainting escalates Lydia confronts the authority figures around her: her mother, self absorbed home hairdresser Eileen (MAXINE PEAKE), the unbending and indomitable deputy head Miss Mantel (GRETA SCACCHI), and the enigmatic and powerful headmistress Miss Alvaro (MONICA DOLAN). Eventually Lydia’s actions force old secrets to rise to the surface and she finds herself faced with a truth that she never expected.
24 April 2021 (UK)