[spoiler]BBC to turn political stage drama 'This House' into a television series
James Graham's National Theatre hit 'This House', which starred Philip Glenister, to become a BBC television political drama.
Playwright James Graham on the set of his play This House at the National Theatre last year Photo: ANDREW CROWLEY FOR THE TELEGRAPH
By Tim Walker
7:30AM BST 02 Oct 2013
James Graham had a huge hit at the National Theatre with his play This House, about the hung parliaments of the Seventies. Now, Mandrake hears that the talented 31-year-old playwright has been invited by the BBC to develop it as a television series.
“It’s too early to talk about casting, but I loved the actors who brought it alive when it was first staged as a play,” says Graham of last year’s production which starred Philip Glenister, Julian Wadham and Rupert Vansittart. “Things can go awry in the world of television development, but I’m thrilled that they are interested in it.”
Politics has become something of an obsession of Graham's in recent years. On Wednesday night, his play Tory Boyz, a wry look at homosexuality in the Conservative Party with special reference to the late Sir Edward Heath, opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London. Originally staged in 2008, while Labour was still in power, it has been updated to take into account the formation of the Coalition.
Refreshingly, Graham’s works are not as overtly political as, say, Laura Wade, who wrote Posh, a vastly over-rated piece of agitprop inspired by David Cameron’s days in the Bullingdon club. Graham refuses to say what party he supports.
“I don’t think that Tory Boyz is a hatchet job and it pleased me that people like Alan Duncan liked it, and I got a lot of help from official Conservative homosexual organisations such as LGB Tory. George Osborne meanwhile came along to see This House and said he enjoyed it.”
Cameron has been invited to see Tory Boyz. Graham believes he is “sincere” about trying to do what he can for homosexual equality, not least over homosexual marriage, which scarcely endeared the PM to traditionalists in his own party.
Would Graham ever consider a career in politics himself? “Obviously, it interests me. I’m not ruling it out.” [/spoiler]