Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss’ next project will tell the story of 100 years of the LGBT experience in the UK.
Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has found the next project that will keep him busy during the series’ hiatus. He will curate and oversee a series of specially commissioned dramatic monologues that follow a century of the UK gay experience. The eight short films will air under together under the title Queers on BBC Four. The intention is to mark the anniversary of 50 years since laws passed that exempted gay men from prosecution.
Eight writers, including Gatiss himself, will take part in the project. And each will tell a different story. For five of these writers, Queers will be their television debut. These include Keith Jarrett, Jon Bradfield, Gareth McLean, Matthew Baldwin and Michael Dennis. The series of monologues will begin with “The Man on the Platform”, a tale penned by Gatiss and set in 1917. It tells the story of a young man returning from the trenches of the First World War and reflecting on his attraction to another man.
The other stories will cover everything from the 1957 Wolfenden Report and the 1967 Sexual Offence Act, to the HIV crisis, to life as a gay actor in the 1980s. The goal, according to the official press release, is to “mark and celebrate some of the most poignant, funny, entertaining, tragic and riotous moments of British gay history”.
Gatiss sounds pretty excited about the project. He said in a statement:
"“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”."
The Old Vic theatre in London will stage the monologues prior to their television airings. No airdate is set yet. However, this summer marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Sexual Offences Act. (The bill, which legalized gay relationships for men over 21, passed the House of Commons on July 27, 1967.) So a broadcast sometime around then seems like a pretty safe bet.