Channel 4 drama has echoes of Jodi’s murder

Seth Ewin June 15, 2007
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The stars of the 1987 film of E M Forster’s novel Maurice will reunite for another gay drama. This time the setting will be the beginning of this century rather than the last.

Clapham Junction, starring Rupert Graves and James Wilby, will be broadcast in July as part of Channel Four’s season to mark the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

The drama, by playwright Kevin Elyot, also features actors Paul Nicholas and Samantha Bond.

It is a 36 hour snapshot of the mixed experiences of gay men in London.

From a civil partnership ceremony to a dinner party, five separate stories are woven into the fabric of modern day London from school and work, to bars and clubs in one hot summer in the capital.

When the middle class dinner party is interrupted by the arrival of police on Clapham Common to investigate a reported attack, the characters are drawn together with devastating effect.

Two men kicked, punched and stamped 24-year-old Jody Dobrowski to death on Clapham Common in October 2005 because he was gay.

The pair were later sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey.

“While there seems to be a greater acceptance of gays in society – consent equality, civil partnerships, higher media visibility, homophobic violence has not disappeared,” said Clapham Junction writer Kevin Elyot.

“Bigotry is still bubbling just below the surface and sometimes in the most surprising quarters.

Clapham Junction follows the stories of several groups of characters one hot summer’s night throughout London and across class divides.”

Elyot is best known as the author of the ground-breaking 1994 play My Night With Reg, which was one of the first productions to successfully engage audiences with the growth HIV and AIDS in the UK and won him an Olivier award.

Liza Marshall, Head of Channel 4 Drama says: “To mark this defining anniversary in gay politics, Kevin was keen to ask the pertinent question – how tolerant is society and why is homophobic violence on the rise?”

A week of programming in July to mark the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales will also include The Last Gay Trial, How Gay Sex Changed the World and Queer As Old Folk.

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