Against the Law – The Reviews

Against the Law starring Daniel Mays aired in the UK Wednesday 26 July on BBC Two to rave reviews from both the viewing audience and television critics. The one-off factual drama was in third spot for Twitter trends during the almost 90 minute broadcast.

Agains the Law is BBC Two’s powerful factual drama about Peter Wildeblood, a thoughtful and private gay journalist whose lover Eddie McNally, under pressure from the authorities, turned Queen’s evidence against him in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu Trial.

More than ten years before the decriminalisation of homosexual acts in 1967, Peter Wildeblood, and his friends Lord Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers, were found guilty of homosexual offences and jailed.

With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the way these draconian laws against homosexuality impacted on the lives of men like him.

The reviews are in:

Observer New Review : [Daniel Mays] is perfect in the role.

The Times: ★★★★☆ Daniel Mays was ideally cast as Peter Wildeblood, whose bravery and testimony in 1954 helped to bring about changes in the law for gay men.

The Telegraph: ★★★★☆ A moving story of men who refused to feel ashamed. “…Daniel Mays, who can play cocky and cruel, but here wore the heartbreaking look of a schoolboy learning the vital skill of moral self-defence.”

The GuardianMays is unobtrusively brilliant as Wildeblood

The Arts Desk: Daniel Mays is a revelation in a factual drama about Peter Wildeblood’s imprisonment for homosexuality. He exceeds all expectation with this performance. He finds a remarkable range in a life wholly governed by watchfulness and fear.

The SpectatorIn the central role, Daniel Mays captured Wildeblood’s reluctant journey into the spotlight perfectly.

Digital Spy: Against the Law is a powerful reminder of how far we have come.

Den of Geek: Daniel Mays delivers an astonishing performance as Peter Wildeblood.

The Conversation: A fitting tribute to gay men whose persecution in the 1950’s paved the way for new rights.

Radio Times:  Against the Law won heaps of praise from viewers last night, many of whom were moved to tears as they hailed the docudrama as both “heartbreaking” and “frustrating”.

The Northern Echo: Daniel Mays says that he believes the drama is “a profound, important piece of work”

You can catch up with Against the Law on BBC iPlayer through 25 August.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Treasure Island – Available Now

Treasure Island from Audible Originals takes to the high seas to bring to life this timeless tale of pirates, lost treasure maps and mutiny, starring BAFTA-nominated Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate ShowThe OfficeDoctor Who), Philip Glenister as Doctor Livesey (OutcastLife On Mars), Owen Teale (Game of ThronesPulseLast Legion) and Daniel Mays as Ben Gunn (The Adventures of TintinRogue OneAtonement) amongst others.

When weathered old sailor Billy Bones arrives at the inn of young Jim Hawkins’ parents, it is the start of an adventure beyond anything he could have imagined. When Bones dies mysteriously, Jim stumbles across a map of a mysterious island in his sea chest, where X marks the spot of a stash of buried pirate gold. Soon after setting sail to recover the treasure, Jim realises that he’s not the only one intent on discovering the hoard. Suddenly he is thrown into a world of treachery, mutiny, castaways and murder, and at the centre of it all is the charming but sinister Long John Silver, who will stop at nothing to grab his share of the loot.

One of the best-loved adventure stories ever written, Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1881 novel introduced us to characters such as the unforgettable Long John Silver, forever associating peg-legged pirates with ‘X marks the spot’ in our cultural consciousness. Following the success of the double Audie Award-winning Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories, Audible Originals UK are excited to announce this reimagination of Stevenson’s coming-of-age story that will captivate all of the family.

Download for UK here: Treasure Island
Download for US here: Treasure Island

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Treasure Island – Audible UK

Daniel Mays joins Philip Glenister, Catherine Tate, Owen Teale, and more in an exciting Audible Original Drama  of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

Download Treasure Island

Audible Originals takes to the high seas to bring to life this timeless tale of pirates, lost treasure maps and mutiny, starring BAFTA-nominated Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate ShowThe OfficeDoctor Who), Philip Glenister (OutcastLife On Mars), Owen Teale (Game of ThronesPulseLast Legion) and Daniel Mays (The Adventures of TintinRogue OneAtonement) amongst others.

When weathered old sailor Billy Bones arrives at the inn of young Jim Hawkins’ parents, it is the start of an adventure beyond anything he could have imagined. When Bones dies mysteriously, Jim stumbles across a map of a mysterious island in his sea chest, where X marks the spot of a stash of buried pirate gold. Soon after setting sail to recover the treasure, Jim realises that he’s not the only one intent on discovering the hoard. Suddenly he is thrown into a world of treachery, mutiny, castaways and murder, and at the centre of it all is the charming but sinister Long John Silver, who will stop at nothing to grab his share of the loot.

One of the best-loved adventure stories ever written, Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1881 novel introduced us to characters such as the unforgettable Long John Silver, forever associating peg-legged pirates with ‘X marks the spot’ in our cultural consciousness. Following the success of the double Audie Award-winning Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories, Audible Originals UK are excited to announce this reimagination of Stevenson’s coming-of-age story that will captivate all of the family.

Treasure Island is available for pre-order now and released on Thursday 17 August.

Daniel Mays previously worked with Audible in 2016 on In Their Own Words: Letters From History.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

The Limehouse Golem

LionsGate UK has updated its official website and released new photos from the upcoming film The Limehouse Golem.

Daniel Mays stars as George Flood:

 

Synopsis: Set on the unforgiving, squalid streets of Victorian London in 1880, our tale begins in the baroque, grandiose music hall where the capital’s most renowned performer Dan Leno (Douglas Booth) takes to the stage. The whimsical thespian performs a monologue, informing his dedicated audience of the ghastly fate of a young woman who had once adorned this very stage, his dear friend Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke); for the beguiling songstress is facing up to her forthcoming death by hanging, having been accused of murdering her husband John Cree (Sam Reid). Lizzie’s death seems inevitable, until Detective Inspector John Kildare (Bill Nighy) is assigned to the case of the Limehouse Golem – a nefarious, calculating serial killer, murdering innocent, unconnected victims, leaving behind barely identifiable corpses – and his distinctive signature in blood. All is not what it seems and everyone is a suspect and everyone has a secret.

The Limehouse Golem is released in UK cinemas on Friday 1 September and in the US in cinemas and on demand on Friday 8 September.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Passchendaele 100

Daniel Mays took part in the BBC’s World War One Remembered: Passchendaele with his emotional reading of  “Concert Party: Busseboom” by Lieutenant Edmund Blunder.

To mark and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, the BBC will broadcast a series of special live programmes from the Passchendaele centenary commemorations in Flanders, Belgium.

Spanning two days, the commemoration programming will be presented and anchored by Kirsty Young from a BBC studio at The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Tyne Cot Cemetery, near Ypres. Kirsty will be joined by broadcaster and historian David Olusoga in the studio, together with special guests, and Dan Snow will be bringing all the reaction to events and meeting those taking part.

The commemorations will begin on BBC Two on Sunday 30 July, with a special broadcast including the traditional Menin Gate ceremony followed by a dramatic event in the city’s Market Square. The imposing façade of the Cloth Hall will be illuminated with projections and lights, together with special live performances from artists including Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Mays, Alfie Boe, War Horse, and the cast of The Wipers Time.

Every evening, the last post is played at the Menin Gate. The distinctive sounding of the bugle call remembers all the men who fought and fell fighting for the restoration of peace around Ypres during the First World War. On this evening, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the ceremony. TM The King and Queen of the Belgians will also be in attendance.

Following The Menin Gate ceremony, there will be a special event in Ypres Market Square. Presented in front of the historic Cloth Hall, this will be broadcast live on BBC Two and will feature music, stunning projections and live performances. In attendance, among an audience of thousands, will be TRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, TM The King and Queen of the Belgians and the British Prime Minister. Highlights of the evening will include performances by Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Mays, the cast of The Wipers Times introduced by Ian Hislop, a specially written extract from War Horse narrated by Michael Morpurgo, a tri-service orchestra and the voices of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Daniel’s reading is towards the end of the broadcast (at 2 hours 43 minutes) but we encourage you to watch the entirety of this extraordinary and moving tribute to the soldiers who bravely fought and to those soldiers whose lives were lost during the long fought Battle of Passchendaele in World War I.

Lest We Forget. 

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Against the Law – Tonight 9PM on BBC 2

Against the Law starring Daniel Mays has it’s television debut this evening at 9PM on BBC Two.

2017 sees the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalised homosexual acts in England and Wales between adult males, in private. While it would take several decades before homosexuals would reach anything like full equality in this country, this legislation marks the beginning of this journey.

But the dramatic events that led to this Act took place over ten years before and are at the heart of this powerful factual drama, starring Daniel Mays and Mark Gatiss. Mays plays Peter Wildeblood, a thoughtful and private gay journalist whose lover, under pressure from the authorities, turned Queen’s evidence against him in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu Trial. Wildeblood and his friends Lord Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers were found guilty of homosexual offences and jailed. But the public thought the trial unfair and forced a reluctant government to set up a committee to investigate whether homosexuality should be legalized. The committee was led by Sir John Wolfenden. With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Peter Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the way these draconian laws against homosexuality impacted on the lives of men like him. He was the only openly gay man to testify before the Wolfenden Committee about the brutal reality of being gay in this country at that time. In 1957, the committee recommended that the laws be changed. It would take a further ten years before these recommendations would become law.

Woven through this powerful drama is testimony from a chorus of men who lived through those dark days, when homosexuals were routinely imprisoned or forced to undergo chemical aversion therapy in an attempt to curethem of their ‘condition’. There is also testimony from a retired police officer whose job it was to enforce these laws, and a former psychiatric nurse who administered the so-called cures. All these accounts amplify the themes of the drama and help to immerse us in the reality of a dark chapter in our recent past, a past still within the reach of living memory.

We hope that you tune in this evening to watch this incredibly important factual-drama.
Against the Law – BBC Two 9PM 26 July 2017.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Against the Law – Press Updates

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28 July: Robert Elms Podcast (Interview from 24 July)

Gay Times Magazine: August Edition

26 July: Against the Law airs at 9PM on BBC Two

Evening Standard

Evening Standard 726

Radio Times: Why the Peter Wildeblood case in Against the Law was a defining moment for gay-equality.

The Guardian: Wednesday Best TV

BBC Breakfast: A special piece on Against the Law and the BBC’s Gay Britannia Season. (available for 24 hours only)

25 July:

Radio Times: Meet the cast of BBC Two’s Against the Law.

iNews: Interview with Richard Gadd

7:15PM Front Row BBC Radio 4 

Podcast version of BBC Front Row interview: UK and US

Pete Price Radio City 2 from 10PM: Interview with Daniel Mays. Pete Price took part in Against the Law as one of the men interviewed about their experiences of being a gay man during the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Pete Price Radio City 25 July

24 July: Good Morning Britain– ITV – Daniel Mays’s interview is at 7:52AM 

Radio Interviews:
BBC Radio Kent : Interview with Dominic King approx 15 minutes into the broadcast.
BBC Essex: Interview approximately 1 hour 17 minutes into the broadcast.
Robert Elms/BBC Radio London: Interview approximately 1 hour 32 minutes the into broadcast.
BBC Radio Northampton: Interview approximately 1 hour 45 minutes into the broadcast.
TalkSport Radio: Interview with Hawksbee & Jacobs – Interview in the last hour of the show (will be online soon!)
BBC Radio Sheffield: Interview approximately 10 minutes into the broadcast.
BBC Radio Cornwall: Interview approximayely 1 hour 39 minutes into the broadcast

Fergus O’Brien attended a screening and Q&A with Directors UK.

Weekend of 22-23 July:
The Sun
Sunday Express Magazine

22 July – BBC Radio 4 at 19:15 Saturday Review will be discussing Against the Law.

21 July:What’s On TV 

Guardian: The best TV this week

20 July: DQ Daily: Mays Days

19 July: Two articles in The Sun:

Daniel Mays talks about Against the Law

Who is Daniel Mays

19 July 11 PM Radio City 2: Fergus O’Brien Interview with Pete Price on Late Night City. Pete’s story is included in Against the Law. Pete’s Daniel Mays interview will be airing next week (TBA)

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TV Magazines 22-28 July:

 

Metro 18 JulyDaniel Mays has said filming his new factual drama Against The Law was a bracing experience.

“It was important to get right”

Radio Times 22-28 July Edition:  Mark Gatiss is guest editor and Daniel Mays interview

Gay Star News: The barbaric treatment of gay people is exposed in a shocking and sobering new BBC drama

15 July 2017 Guardian article on Peter Wildeblood and the scandal that rocked 1950’s Britain.

 

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Against the Law – BBC Two 26 July

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Against the Law will air Wedensday 26 July at 9PM on BBC Two.

Daniel Mays (Line Of Duty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Public Enemies) stars in BBC Two’s powerful factual drama as Peter Wildeblood, a thoughtful and private gay journalist whose lover Eddie McNally (played by newcomer to television, Richard Gadd), under pressure from the authorities, turned Queen’s evidence against him in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu Trial.

More than ten years before the decriminalisation of homosexual acts in 1967, Peter Wildeblood, and his friends Lord Montagu (Mark Edel-Hunt) and Michael Pitt-Rivers, were found guilty of homosexual offences and jailed.

With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the way these draconian laws against homosexuality impacted on the lives of men like him.

Daniel says: “I’m incredibly proud to be part of a drama that tells such an important real-life story. Peter Wildeblood is a fascinating, complex, yet flawed character from a time when being a gay man in Britain was incredibly difficult – I can’t wait to bring his tale to life for the BBC Two audience.”

Patrick Holland, Channel Editor, BBC Two, said: “50 years ago, it was a crime to be a gay man in the UK. Against The Law is a stunning piece that melds drama and documentary testimony to tell the story of one man, and his wider generation, as they struggled to make society accept their sexuality as non-criminal. It is brilliant to have a film that brings the authorship of Brian Fillis, the vision of director Fergus O’Brien, and the outstanding talent of Daniel Mays and cast to this important subject”

The drama also features Mark Gatiss (Taboo, Sherlock) as Wildeblood’s prison psychiatrist, Doctor Landers and Charlie Creed-Miles (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders) as Superintendent Jones.

Woven through this powerful drama is real-life testimony from a chorus of men who lived through those dark days, when homosexuals were routinely imprisoned or forced to undergo chemical aversion therapy in an attempt to cure them of their “condition”. There is also testimony from a retired police officer whose job it was to enforce these laws, and a former psychiatric nurse who administered the so-called cures. All of these accounts serve to amplify the themes of the drama and help to immerse us in the reality of a dark chapter in our recent past, a past still within the reach of living memory.

Written by Brian Fillis, Against the Law is directed by Fergus O’Brien, produced by Scott James Bassett and executive produced by Aysha Rafaele, Creative Director of The Documentary Unit, BBC Studios.

Watch the trailer for Against the Law

Don’t miss this incredibly important factual drama on Wednesday 26 July 9PM on BBC Two.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Daniel Mays Joins the Cast of My Dinner with Hervé

Daniel Mays has joined the cast of HBO Films My Dinner With Hervé.

Written by Sacha Gervasi and based on a story by him and Sean Macaulay and directed by Gervasi, My Dinner With Hervé centers on an unlikely friendship that evolves over one wild night in LA between a struggling journalist and actor Hervé Villechaize, the world’s most famous gun-toting dwarf, resulting in life-changing consequences for both.

The film stars Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Hervé Villechaize and Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) as journalist Danny Tate circa 1993. Executive producing with Gervasi, Zaillian and Dinklage are Richard Middleton, Ross Katz and Jessica de Rothschild, with Garrett Basch and David Ginsberg co-executive producing.

Other previously announced cast members are Andy Garcia, Mireille Enos (The Catch), Oona Chaplin (Taboo) and Harriet Walter (The Crown).

Currently filming, there is no premiere date set at this time.  We will have more updates on this exciting project in the near future.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk

Against the Law – First Look Trailer

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Against the Law first look trailer was released today. Tune in to BBC TWo on  Wednesday 26 July at 9PM for this compelling and important factual drama.

Daniel Mays (Line Of Duty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Public Enemies) stars in BBC Two’s powerful factual drama as Peter Wildeblood, a thoughtful and private gay journalist whose lover Eddie McNally (played by newcomer to television, Richard Gadd), under pressure from the authorities, turned Queen’s evidence against him in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu Trial.

Daniel says ‘I’m incredibly proud to be part of a drama that tells such an important real-life story. Peter Wildeblood is a fascinating, complex, yet flawed character from a time when being a gay man in Britain was incredibly difficult – I can’t wait to bring his tale to life for the BBC Two audience.’

Woven through this powerful drama is real-life testimony from a chorus of men who lived through those dark days, when homosexuals were routinely imprisoned or forced to undergo chemical aversion therapy in an attempt to cure them of their “condition”. There is also testimony from a retired police officer whose job it was to enforce these laws, and a former psychiatric nurse who administered the so-called cures. All of these accounts serve to amplify the themes of the drama and help to immerse us in the reality of a dark chapter in our recent past, a past still within the reach of living memory.

Written by Brian Fillis, Against the Law is directed by Fergus O’Brien, produced by Scott James Bassett and executive produced by Aysha Rafaele, Creative Director of The Documentary Unit, BBC Studios.

Against the Law is part of the BBC’s Gay Britannia season of programming marking the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts that took place in private between two men over the age of 21.

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9

©DanielMays.co.uk