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May 07, 2018

Porn Industry Is Setting for ‘Hard-Hitting’ New British TV Drama

Following last year’s HBO porn-themed drama The Deuce, which explored the early days of the industry in 1970s New York City, the British network ITV now plans to launch a new, four-part series of its own, this time set within the adult business today, according a report in The Guardian newspaper on Saturday, which characterizes the upcoming series as a “hard-hitting” look inside the British version of the porn industry. The series, to be titled Adult Material, is created by acclaimed British playwright Lucy Kirkwood, and will “look at how sex, power and consent are connected, giving a nod to recent real-world goings on,” according to ITV press material. “It’s a series I’ve wanted to make for a long time because I think the porn industry is a really interesting environment through which to look at power and how we behave in the workplace,” Kirkwood said in the Guardian article. “It’s not a simple subject and I found the gray areas, such as the fact that it’s one of the few workplaces where women earn more than men and one of the few industries that allows women to juggle work and childcare demands, really fascinating,” the playwright continued. Kirkwood saw her Broadway debut in December when her post-apocalyptic drama The Children moved from London’s West End to the United States. The play ran through early February and received largely enthusiastic notices from New York theater critics. Veteran British actress Sheridan Smith, 36, has been cast in Adult Material’s lead role as Jolene Dollar, a 20-year veteran of the porn business who is raising three kids. Jolene's life and career take a sudden turn when she meets a 19-year-old newcomer named Amy and attempts to mentor her through the industry’s pitfalls. Kirkwood described the Jolene character as “not quite Jenna Jameson, but she has a following,” adding, “I wanted to look at the way the industry has changed in recent years. There’s a very high turnover of actors working very intensely over a short period now, and that obviously has had a seismic effect.” Sheridan, who recently portrayed legendary 1960s English pop star Cilla Black in the three-part ITV bio-series Cilla, described the upcoming Adult Material as “taboo-busting” and “brilliantly brave.” “With Lucy’s thought-provoking and insightful writing Adult Material gives Jolene the platform and voice she deserves and it feels like the perfect time to tell her story,” Sheridan said. “I’ve played some truly fascinating women in my career, from all walks of life, and I can’t wait to step into Jolene’s shoes.” Adult Material is set to air next year on Channel Four in the United Kingdom. At the same time, HBO’s The Deuce has begun production on its second season, meaning that 2019 looks like a big year for portrayals of the porn industry on the small screen. Photo of Sheridan Smith: Sony Pictures Classics publicity still

 
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