Russell T Davies defends lesbian twist in Midsummer Night’s Dream
Russell T Davies has defended his decision to ‘gay up’ the plot of a Shakespeare play – adding a lesbian kiss and a gay romance.
The mastermind show-runner behind Queer as Folk helmed the all-star production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that aired on BBC One on Sunday night.
Davies is known for his focus on LGBT content, and he didn’t let Shakespeare get in the way; tweaking the plot of the 400-year-old story so it ends with a passionate kiss between Fairy Queen Titania and Queen of the Amazons Hippolyta – played by Maxine Peak and Eleanor Matsuura.
The TV creator explained to Radio Times: “It’s my take on the ending. Nothing’s changed but a lot’s been added. But it’s still completely faithful to the text. I love it. I’m thrilled with it. I am properly thrilled with it.”
Twists that aren’t true to the original Shakespeare play are scattered throughout the adaptation.
Theseus, Played by John Hannah, is portrayed as a fascist dictator who imprisons his bride, Hippolyta – while a brief gay romance is teased between Lysander and Demetrius.
The play’s final moments see Theseus being killed off, the highly anticipated lesbian kiss, and Hippolyta soaring into the air with butterfly wings that have sprouted from her back.
The showrunner added: “Nothing’s changed but a lot’s been added. But it’s still completely faithful to the text.”
Davies, who is well known for his work on Doctor Who and Torchwood, added that the last 10 minutes of the bank holiday special is some of his favourite work.
The screenwriter has portrayed numerous LGBT people in recent series ‘Cucumber’ and ‘Banana’, as well as the hit 1999-2000 series ‘Queer As Folk’.
His is an advocate for more same sex partnerships being portrayed on screen – and is currently working on a drama centred on the AIDS crisis.