Queers, curated by Mark Gatiss, charts a century of the UK gay experience.
Some of Britain’s most brilliant up and upcoming LGBT writers are being given the opportunity to write original dramatic short films for BBC Four in a new project directed by Mark Gatiss which charts a century of the UK gay experience. For five of the writers - Keith Jarrett, Jon Bradfield, Gareth McLean, Matthew Baldwin and Michael Dennis - this is the first time they will have written for television. The other writers are Jackie Clune and Brian Fillis; Mark Gatiss has also written one of the eight plays.
The monologues begin in 1917 with The Man on the Platform - the story of a young man returning from the trenches of the First World War and reflecting on both his attraction to another man and a very particular childhood memory. Other stories include Jackie Clune’s The Perfect Gentlemen in which we meet Bobby, a man with a very unexpected secret and Brian Fillis’ More Anger which examines the journey of a young gay actor in the 1980s.
Taking in 1957’s Wolfenden Report, the HIV crisis and the 1967 Sexual Offence Act itself, these 15 minute monologues will mark and celebrate some of the most poignant, funny, entertaining, tragic and riotous moments of British gay history and the very personal rites-of-passage of gay Britons through the last 100 years.
Mark Gatiss says: “I’m thrilled and delighted to have been asked to curate this exciting series from both established LGBT writers and a whole host of new talent fresh to the screen. It’s a privilege to be working with such brilliant writers and actors. At this challenging and fluid time, it’s a marvellous opportunity to celebrate LGBT life and culture, to see how far we have come and how far we still have to go”.
Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four says: “I’m so excited to welcome Mark and his team of incredibly talented writers to BBC Four. They are crafting an extraordinary roster of stories, heart-breaking and joyous by turns, that I know will delight our audience.”
Queers is being produced in partnership with The Old Vic who will stage all eight of the monologues in July, in the run up to the television transmission. Tickets for the live staging will go on sale this Spring.
The 8x15 mins series was commissioned by Cassian Harrison and Mark Bell, Head of Commissioning, Arts and is being made by BBC Studios where it will be Executive Produced by Pauline Law.