Steve and Adam/ Thomas and Michael
The second and final episode of Patrick Gale's Man in an Orange Shirt aired last night and the narrative was brought up to date with the story of Adam Berryman the gay grandson of Michael Berryman whose tragic love affair with painter Thomas March featured in episode one.
Adam ( Julian Morris) leads an unfulfilled and secret sex addicted life until he meets the more grounded and confident Steve ( David Gyasi), and as the two men renovate the family country cottage, the ghosts of the March/ Berryman relationship come to light with help from Flora, Adams' bitter grandmother.
This updated version of the first film is a gentle and at times incredibly moving reflection of a modern day relationship. The threat of prosecution and shame faced by the wartime lovers do echo in the modern storyline but have been changed into problems of anonymity, shame and the overuse of sex addiction phone apps. Essentially and not surprisingly the final conclusion underlines that most people, whatever sexuality they possess just want the everyday things in life , a conclusion that isn't really rocket science.
The reading of a wartime love letter was a lovely moment with Steve and Adam feeling the words which described how important the mundane things in life were to the closseted gays men of sixty years ago...the sweeping up of leaves together, the making of tea, the washing up of the dishes...........
I was reminded of a similar moment recently when after a very minor row I placed a plate of avocado on toast by the side of a silent Prof. Twenty minutes later all was well ........... the plate was empty....
Adam ( Julian Morris) and Grandmother Flora ( the glorious Vanessa Redgrave)I