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Play for Today at 50

Play for Today: Even Solomon

+ pre-recorded intro by writer and filmmaker Juliet Jacques, author of Trans: A Memoir

Britain’s first TV drama with a transgender lead character.

Image from Play for Today: Even Solomon + intro

BBC 1979
Dir Roger Bamford
With Paul Henley, Colin Douglas, Sylvia Kay
82min

In Britain’s first TV drama with a transgender lead character (though not played by a trans actor), Andrew Taylor’s script eschews sensationalism in favour of quietly gripping drama, as a young, pre-transition bank clerk is bullied and belittled by her mother, neighbours and colleagues, and a GP who refers her to the ‘head shrinkers’. Despite some inaccurate medical detail, Susan’s coming-out journey – negotiating the muddled values of the 1970s – is depicted with frankness and compassion.

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