JOAN, a seventy-something queer man with a penchant for lipstick and everything operatic, is being forced to leave the home he’s lived in half his lifetime: deemed a danger unto himself, and indeed his neighbours, since he nodded off whilst smoking an illegal substance and almost burnt the block down, he is to be re-housed somewhere he can receive the kind-of round-the-clock attention he obviously needs…
Joan thereupon enters a residential care home, in London but in a world of its own, where his housemates include sex-mad septuagenarian Eileen, pious and acrimonious Harold, and enigmatic and deluded Jim. Joan lands like a colourful, explosive cocktail into this staid setting and within minutes has upset most of his fellow residents as well as Rachida, the jobsworth Anglo-Asian manager who suggests that Joan (or John as she would prefer to call him) tones the ‘act’ down. But for Joan, his appearance, and indeed his entire way of being, isn’t an act: it’s simply who he is and he refuses to compromise that. No stranger to conflict, Joan dons his battle dress with relish, attempting to forge an alliance against the establishment with Craig, the young, gay but disappointingly conventional care assistant.
And then, in this most unlikely of settings, at this most unlikely time of life, Joan is offered love and acceptance from another gentlemen resident. But will Joan be able to accept it? Will Joan be able to accept himself? And will he and the other residents be able to accept the most shocking proposal of all? Cue wedding bells…
While there is no attempt to forecast a comparative financial performance for our film, there is, in the above projects, a clearly proven commercial track record for films such as The Grey Liberation Front. Even a smaller title such as Weekend has punched above its budget weight and this too on box office revenues. The DVD sales for Weekend are only just beginning and Best Exotic has not yet been released on DVD. This last title has been included because it has hugely outperformed expectations without the “received wisdom” attraction of a young sexy cast.
It is also of note that these are merely six out of hundreds of titles of similarly themed films and between them they have received dozens of nominations and awards including Oscars and Baftas. There is therefore an appetite for such poignant, well-made films and The Grey Liberation Front belongs in their number.
We already have three exciting roles confirmed for Richard Wilson (Jim), Nina Wadia (Rachida) and Chris New (Craig).
Richard Wilson is a much-loved national treasure. His body of work, far too vast to encapsulate, has included innumerable performances in TV, Film and Theatre. In his diverse and wide-ranging career he has covered indie cult (How To Get Ahead In Advertising) and worked with David Lean on the epic A Passage To India. He created the irascible Victor Meldrew (One Foot In The Grave). He has brought Shakespeare and Merlin to life and has worked to equal acclaim in the UK and Hollywood. He is a BAFTA winner and continues to fill his work with energy and passion.
Nina Wadia, award winning actress, nominated for both her comedy as well as her gripping dramatic performances is currently starring in the UK’s most widely watched night time drama, Eastenders. She first garnered acclaim for the breakout BBC hit show Goodness Gracious Me, as well as the sitcoms Perfect World, Chambers and All About Me. Nina has also appeared in numerous other TV shows including Dr Who, Skins, Waking The Dead, New Tricks and The Vicar Of Dibley. Her varied film career has seen her working with Michael Winterbottom and Tim Robbins (Code 46) as well as starring in the Bollywood hit Namaste London. Nina has also just completed the upcoming comedy feature film Keith Lemon: The Movie (released later this year).
Chris New, nominated as Best Newcomer at the London Film Festival for his role in Weekend has also been a West End leading light for roles in Joe Orton’s Prick Up Your Ears, the much lauded 2009 Bent. In 2010 Chris lead Peter Nichols’ prestigious company in the New York debut of Lingua Franca. His appeal continues to grow with his recent mainstream film Saving Santa working alongside Martin Freeman and Tim Curry.
Leading our casting initiative is Gary Davy, outstanding Casting Director who has been at the heart of an impressive range of productions including the edgy and award-winning Hunger (Dir Steven McQueen), the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks produced epic Band Of Brothers and numerous TV series such as Garrow’s Law, and Mistresses.