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BBC America to Show Mark Gatiss’ Gay Britannia Series ‘Queers’

BBC America will launch “Queers,” later this year, the British drama series from “Sherlock” writer Mark Gatiss that looks at life for gay men and women in the U.K.

The short-form project comprises eight monologues from well-known actors. In the U.K. it was part of a longer “Gay Britannia” season on pubcaster the BBC, which was launched to mark 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act, the law that decriminalized homosexual acts in the U.K.

BBC America, which is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and AMC Networks, was a co-producer on the series and it will bow on the cable channel in October.

The monologues run to 15 minutes apiece, covering the past 100 years, and the characters address topics including the HIV crisis, and the Sexual Offences Act itself.

A roster of British actor perform the pieces including Ben Whishaw (“Spectre”); Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”); Gemma Whelan (“Game of Thrones”); and Fionn Whitehead (“Dunkirk”).

Episodes include Ben Whishaw’s turn as a soldier returning from the trenches of the First World War, and, 100 years later, Alan Cumming as a man reflecting on gay marriage.

“‘Queers’ is a unique and affecting series of short films about the British Gay experience,” said Sarah Barnett, president, BBC America. “Brilliantly written and performed, these monologues may be compact but they are brimful of humor, heartbreak, joy, humanity and tenderness.”

Gatiss curated the project, and was among a roster of experienced and first time LGBT writers who contributed to “Queers.”

“I’m thrilled and delighted to have been asked to curate this exciting series from both established LGBT writers and a whole host of new talent fresh to the screen,” he said when it was commissioned in the U.K. “At this challenging and fluid time, it’s a marvelous opportunity to celebrate LGBT life and culture, to see how far we have come and how far we still have to go.”

The series has gone out on arts and culture channel BBC Four in the U.K. earlier this year, and was also performed by the actors at The Old Vic Theater in London in the run-up to the TV transmission. It was made by BBC Studios’ Pacific Quay Productions.

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