BBC to make Wolfenden report drama
Consenting Adults for BBC Four, is a 75-minute special set against the deliberations of the Wolfenden Committee, established by the then Home Secretary in 1954, to look into the law relating to Homosexual Offences and Prostitution. The committee went on to recommend that homosexuality be decriminalised, though it was not made law until over a decade later.
The drama considers the conflict between Wolfenden, played by Charles Dance, and his son, Jeremy, played by Sean Biggerstaff. Though Wolfenden thought homosexuality “an abomination”, he knew his own son was an active homosexual.
Colin Cameron, managing director, Lion Television Scotland, said: “Consenting Adults not only focuses on the ground-breaking work of the Wolfenden Committee, but will unravel the highly charged conflict between the realms of public and private, moral and professional judgement, and the relationship between father and son."
The drama was commissioned by Jane Tranter, controller, BBC Fiction, and Janice Hadlow, controller, BBC Four. Written by Julian Mitchell, it will be directed by Richard Curson-Smith, produced by Robert Dawson-Scott and executive produced by Colin Cameron for Lion Television Scotland and Richard Fell for BBC Four.
Fell said: "The Wolfenden Report was the turning point in the legalisation of homosexuality in this country, what is much lesser known is that Wolfenden himself struggled with his own feelings of shame and fear in finding out his son was gay. Julian Mitchell's script beautifully uncovers the highly controversial findings of the Committee alongside the troubled relationship between father and son."