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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > September 17 > Jonathan Harvey

Jonathan Harvey

Mister Tuesday

This August to September, London King’s Head Theatre is staging Outlaws to In-Laws, seven one-act plays set in each decade from the 1950s to the present 2010s. Acclaimed playwright Jonathan Harvey wrote the second in the sequence, Mister Tuesday. He’s best known as the writer of: Gimme Gimme Gimme, Coronation Street, Tracey Ullman’s Show, oh, and a little seminal, generation-defining piece of work by the name Beautiful Thing.

However, he originally qualified as a teacher, in 1990 – two years after Section 28 came into effect. As we should all know by now, it forbade promoting “the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. Jonathan wasn’t too aware of it day to day; no student ever came out to him. But, homophobia felt entrenched. “Section 28 came out of Thatcher’s hatred, but it was a commonly held view”.

He felt young – only 21 – when he qualified. His first tutor group were 11 at the time, but that decade-gap feels minimal nearly 30 years later. Some of those students are still in touch: “If they ever send me a message on Facebook, they always call me ‘sir’. You don’t get that badge of respect anywhere else.”

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About Gay Times

Out of the Blue: Simon Webbe on why we need to stand up and start talking about mental health. Elsewhere in the issue, Five to Five recreate Take That's iconic Do What U Like video; Julian Clary on embracing one's queerness; celebrated queer actor Cecil Baldwin speaks out against HIV stigma; Shania Twain on the comeback she thought would never happen; Francis Lee on his 'British Brokeback' God's Own Country; an expanded style section that will leave you gagging; plus opinion, travel and much more.