Entertainment & Arts

Mark Gatiss curates gay monologue series for BBC Four

Mark Gatiss Image copyright PA
Image caption Gatiss's piece will tell of a a young man returning from the trenches of World War I

Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has a new project - a series of original dramatic shorts for BBC Four charting a century of the UK gay experience.

Grouped together under the title Queers, the eight 15-minute monologues begin with The Man on the Platform, set in 1917 and written by Gatiss himself.

The monologues will be staged at the Old Vic theatre in London in July before their television airings.

Gatiss said he was "thrilled and delighted" to be curating the series.

"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," he went on.

Actress and singer Jackie Clune and Brian Fillis, of An Englishman in New York and The Curse of Steptoe fame, will also write pieces for the project.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lord Wolfenden's report paved the way for the decriminalisation of homosexuality

The other five writers - who include Guardian journalist Gareth McLean and former UK poetry slam champion Keith Jarrett - will all be making their TV writing debuts.

The pieces will address the Wolfenden Report of 1957, which recommended that homosexuality should no longer be a crime; the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which made gay relationships legal for men aged 21 and over; and the HIV crisis that decimated the gay community in the 1980s.

According to BBC Four, they 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".

Gatiss made his name as a member of the League of Gentlemen comedy troupe and went on to write for and appear in Doctor Who.

He plays Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock and was recently seen as a debauched Prince Regent in period drama Taboo.


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