Mr Understood. Copyright: Eleven Film.

Mr Understood

Sky Arts comedy drama. 1 episode in 2013. Stars Tom Brooke, Tommy McDonnell, Neil Dudgeon, Claire Skinner, Amy Midson, Louise Davidge, Barry Wilson and others.

Press Clippings

Best of all [of the Playhouse Presents episodes] was last week's Mr Understood, co-created by Grayson Perry and Kate Hardie, about a young man attending his first transvestite social.

Tom Brooke's Gary battles with his shame, played by Tommy McDonnell, who follows him around, spitting insults and insecurities. Everyone else has an embodiment of shame, too: a disco full of transvestite doubles, one smiling while the other heckles, opens out into a heart-swelling scene of self-acceptance as Gary and his other half dance with wild abandon. The next day, though, it's business as usual - nagging doubt that needs drowning out. Television rarely catches the inner life this well, nor attempts characters so complex.

Matt Trueman, The Guardian, 23rd May 2013

The touching and inventively told tale of reluctant young tranny Gary (Tom Brooke), struggling to find his place in life, would make a cracking double bill with the Bean and Graham drama.

Using the potentially irksome but actually rather effective device of providing Gary with an alter ego called Frank, a conduit for all the fear and loathing sloshing around in his system, worked a treat. Stripped of his outer mask, we saw the real Gary - and how difficult we can find it to be ourselves.

Keith Watson, Metro, 17th May 2013

Co-created by Grayson Perry and Kate Hardie, and starring the remarkable Tom Brooke, this slight drama about the trials of a young transvestite called Gary should have been a whole lot more insightful, funny, moving or just plain odd.

Instead, it feels like a student film, with over-written dialogue, a constraining plot device and little sense of who Gary is, beyond being a bloke who sometimes fancies wearing a frock. With trans issues back in the news following the Lucy Meadows case, there's a real opportunity for a drama to tackle TV on TV, and the daily 'monsterisation' of those who don't have the celebrity swaddling of Perry or Izzard. This isn't it.

Chris Waywell, Time Out, 16th May 2013

Grayson Perry is one of the names - alongside writer/director Kate Hardie - behind this touching tale of a transvestite struggling to come to terms with his urge to dress as a woman. The fear and self-loathing plaguing young Gary (Tom Brooke) are made flesh in the form of Tommy McDonnell's Frank, an obnoxious "inner voice" that adds pathos to a subtle drama that probes aspects of self-identity with wit and intelligence. Neil Dudgeon and Claire Skinner add sterling support.

David Crawford, Radio Times, 16th May 2013

Artist Grayson Perry is a busy bee. The Turner Prize-winning potter picked up a Bafta for documentary series In The Best Possible Taste, dressed as alter-ego Claire. He's also announced a new series - to be screened next year - exploring contemporary British identity.

And tonight he turns his hand to drama, teaming up with writer and director Kate Hardie to create a tale which draws heavily on Perry's own experiences as a transvestite. The action follows the first faltering footsteps of Gary (Tom Brooke) as he ventures out in public for the first time as a woman, while fellow transvestite Jim (Neil Dudgeon, DCI Barnaby from Midsomer Murders) offers him moral support.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 16th May 2013