Man in an Orange Shirt: A Tale of Love Outlawed and Redeemed | Community Idea Stations

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Man in an Orange Shirt: A Tale of Love Outlawed and Redeemed

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 12:24pm -- WCVE

A remarkable cast headed by Oscar-winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia) portrays a pair of love stories, sixty years apart, linked by family ties, sexual identity, and a mysterious painting. Man in an Orange Shirt was scripted by bestselling novelist Patrick Gale (A Place Called Winter) and airing in a single presentation on Masterpiece as part of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

Joining Redgrave are Joanna Vanderham (The Paradise), Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey), Julian Sands (A Room with a View), Frances de la Tour (The Collection), Adrian Schiller (Victoria, Beauty and the Beast), and Joanna David (Rebecca).

Watch Man In An Orange Shirt On Masterpiece June 17 at 9:00 p.m. on WCVE/WHTJ/WVPT. Check listings for additional air-times.

The plot opens on the Italian front near the end of World War II. British Captain Michael Berryman (Jackson-Cohen) saves the life of a wounded fellow of officer and recognizes him as Thomas March (McArdle), an old schoolmate, now serving as an official war artist. Though engaged to his childhood sweetheart, Flora (Vanderham), Michael feels a powerful attraction to Thomas, who feels the same way. After the artist’s recuperation, the two share a brief, passionate encounter before parting.

With the war over, Michael looks up Thomas in London, and they spend a liberating, amorous weekend at Michael’s rundown country cottage. There, Thomas sketches Michael for a painting that will become “Man in an Orange Shirt.” In an era when homosexuality in England was punished by prison, there is no hope of living together. Furthermore, Michael feels honor-bound to marry Flora, and he asks Thomas to be his best man. This sets the stage for a turbulent marriage, not least because Flora suspects nothing about her fiancé’s sexual orientation.

The second half of the drama skips two generations to the present day. Michael and Thomas have died, and Flora (Redgrave) keeps house with her grandson, Adam (Morris), a young veterinarian active in London’s gay hookup scene—a subject Flora carefully avoids.

Into Adam’s restless life comes Steve (Gyasi), an architect eager for a stable relationship and intrigued by the challenge of fixing up the cottage that Adam has been given by Flora—the same place where Michael and Thomas spent their idyllic weekend six decades earlier. The times change, the laws change, the technology changes (as illustrated by Adam’s addiction to dating apps), but the problem of love, commitment, and acceptance is as persistent and formidable as ever.

It’s not just Adam and Steve who face this dilemma. So does Flora, for she has unfinished business with the past.