UK production outfit Leopardrama has secured BFI funding to develop the screenplay about the British female impersonator, which will be written by Martyn Hesford.

Leopardrama, the drama division of London and New York-based group Argonon, is developing a feature film about the life of British entertainer and drag act Danny La Rue, who died in 2009.

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The company has secured funding from the BFI Film Fund to develop a screenplay by writer Martyn Hesford, whose previous credits include the BAFTA nominated one off drama for the BBC, Fantabulosa!, about the British comic actor Kenneth Williams. 

La Rue hosted his own TV series and a weekly Saturday night live show from the London Palladium, but behind the public persona, he had a series of complex relationships that included his male manager and lover and devoted female costume designer, Annie. 

“Danny was a ground-breaking entertainer and a vital part of contemporary British popular history, which until now has been overlooked.  He had a huge cultural and social impact in making the unacceptable acceptable and blazed the trail for the likes of David Bowie and Boy George,” said executive producer for Leopardrama, Joey Attawia who is heading up the project together with development producer David Chikwe.

Leopardrama’s credits include The Holding starring Vincent Regan and Kierston Wareing and An Englishman In New York with John Hurt as well as an upcoming Terence Davies adaptation of Richard McCann’s award winning novel, Mother of Sorrows.