Tuesday, December 20, 2005

BBC America's Blue/Orange

BBC Presents Blue/Orange

In a London psychiatric hospital, a patient claims to be the son of the exiled African dictator, Idi Amin. He also claims that the oranges at the hospital are blue. As his doctor and a senior consultant decide his fate, a twisting tale of race, madness, and power emerges. Based on Joe Penhall’s (The Long Firm) Oliver Award-winning play, this adaptation was hailed by The Times as “beautifully written, intelligent, complex, uncompromising and compassionate.” Blue/Orange premieres Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.

A young black man, Chris (Shaun Parkes, Casanova), has been admitted to the hospital following a psychotic episode. Because he exhibits paranoid behavior and hallucinates, Dr. Bruce Flaherty (John Simm, State of Play) fears that he’s schizophrenic and wants to work with him a while longer. But senior consultant, Dr. Robert Smith (Brian Cox, Match Point), believes there are perfectly good reasons for a black man to be paranoid in London. And maybe he isn’t hallucinating. Maybe he calls oranges blue as a metaphor of the wasted, salty fruits of the colonization of Africa? After all, Chris calls the skinheads who taunt him with racist abuse ‘zombies’. As the doctors argue about whether or not it is racist to take Chris’ race into account, it’s not clear if anyone can really see the truth.

As the plot unfolds, what viewers think about each of the three characters and their relationships to one another will constantly shift. Is Chris seriously ill, or is he simply mistrustful and misdiagnosed? Is Flaherty idealistic or completely neurotic? Does Smith believe what he says or is he an arrogant careerist spouting pop-psychology hooks? The assumptions people make in this film are hugely important and the title itself is a perfect encapsulation of the issues, conjuring up color, language, and perception.

Blue/Orange had its world premiere in 2000 at the Royal National Theatre in London. In 2001, it won the Olivier Award and the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award.

What The U.K. Press Said About Blue/Orange:

“Beautifully written – intelligent, complex, uncompromising and compassionate.” The Times

“Penhall's dialogue generates red-hot tension as the three characters tread through a minefield of arguments and issues.” The Independent

“A timely and provocative reminder of how politics affects the lives of some of society's most vulnerable people.” The Guardian

“Brian Cox is one of our true national treasures and non-theatre goers get the rare chance to see him in his natural habitat here.” Daily Record


Dr Robert Smith Brian Cox (Match Point, Troy, X-Men 2, Manhunter)B

Dr Bruce Flaherty John Simm (Sex Traffic, State of Play, Crime & Punishment)

Chris Shaun Parkes (Casanova, The Mummy Returns, Servants)

Written and adapted by Joe Penhall (Enduring Love, The Long Firm)

Director Howard Davies (Copenhagen, Armadillo)

Producer Richard Fell (The Alan Clark Diaries, Copenhagen)

Executive Producer Bill Boyes (He Knew He Was Right, Traffic) Posted by Picasa