Hoodlum/10’s new drama ‘Five Bedrooms’ taps into the housing crisis

(L-R) Roy Joseph, Doris Younane, Katie Robertson, Kat Stewart and Stephen Peacocke.

The Australian obsession with housing prices and affordability is the inspiration behind Five Bedrooms, Hoodlum Entertainment’s drama which started shooting in Melbourne today.

Commissioned by Network 10, the series features an ensemble cast led by Kat Stewart, Stephen Peacocke, Doris Younane, Katie Robertson, Roy Joseph, Kate Jenkinson and Hugh Sheridan.

Created by Michael Lucas and Christine Bartlett (The Wrong Girl, Offspring, Party Tricks), the plot follows a group of very different people who find themselves at a singles table at a wedding.

After a few too many champagnes, wines, whiskeys and beers, the solution to all their problems seems to be buying a house together: A really big, five bedroom house.

Lucas tells IF: “The idea of pooling together with friends to crack into the real estate market is something Christine and I have talked about for almost a decade now. As prices kept getting higher we often joked about our ‘commune’.

“Thus far we have, alas, not been in a position to do it, so instead we have elected to imagine it in TV drama form. Some people claim such an arrangement would be a recipe for disaster but I am a believer.”

By co-incidence, Hoodlum was developing an idea for a show about long-term singles so in 2015 they “married” the two concepts and Five Bedrooms is the result.

“I think the idea has had resonance because real estate strife is a huge factor of contemporary Australian life and not something reflected in drama all that much,” Lucas added.

Pino Amenta is the series producer with Peter Templeman as the set-up director and Fiona Banks and Corrie Chen also directing. The scripts are by Lucas, Bartlett and Mithila Gupta. Screen Australia and Film Victoria are co-funding and Sky Vision will handle international sales.

Network 10 head of drama Rick Maier said: “Who knew a singles table at a wedding could be this much fun? What happens next is the platform for a brilliantly original, sharp and contemporary series. We have our families, and we also have the random people we collect on the way.

“Michael Lucas and Christine Bartlett have created a group of individuals we hope everyone can relate to. And it’s no surprise these scripts have been the drawcard for this outstanding ensemble. “

Hoodlum Entertainment executive producers Nathan Mayfield and Tracey Robertson said: “Five Bedrooms has been a labour of love for Hoodlum and we are thrilled to see it come to life with this lovable cast. The series was inspired by the dream to own your own home and the harsh reality of being able to afford it.

Screen Australia head of content Sally Caplan added: “Hoodlum Entertainment have proven their ability to produce high quality drama series with both local and international appeal. The scripts are intelligent and relatable and I look forward to seeing this talented and diverse cast bring these characters to life.”