Vanessa Redgrave Cast In Man In An Orange Shirt

Vanessa Redgrave has been cast in Patrick Gale’s forthcoming two-part BBC One drama, Man In An Orange Shirt, which tells two love stories sixty years apart, charting the challenges and changes to gay life from the Second World War through to the present.

In 1944, British Army Captain Michael Berryman (Oliver Jackson Cohen) meets war artist Thomas March (James McArdle) in Southern Italy while chaos reigns all around them. Despite having a young fiancé, Flora (Joanna Vanderham), waiting at home for him, straight-laced Michael finds himself falling for Thomas’ bohemian charms.

In 2017, an ageing Flora (Vanessa Redgrave) looks on as her grandson, Adam (Julian Morris), tentatively forms a relationship with his client Steve (David Gyasi) in a more accepting world. But while the external obstacles have fallen away, a minefield of internalised issues and dangerous temptations still line the road to happiness.

Patrick Gale says: “As a writer who has long celebrated and explored alternative sexualities and hidden lives in his fiction, I’d been impatient for the BBC to do something similar for a mainstream audience.”

“I hope I’ve come up with a story that finds the universal resonance in the marginalised. To then see it fleshed out by such a five star cast, including one of my lifelong heroines in Vanessa, is incredible.”

“I’ve only watched two days’ shooting and the daily rushes so far, but already I’m getting that fizzy feeling, finding the scenes and characters I’ve been carrying around with me for the last half-decade so lovingly brought to life.”

Man In An Orange Shirt is currently filming in and around London, and is directed by Michael Samuels (Any Human Heart).