Set in the early 80s, the four-part series, In Our Blood, is a captivating musical drama inspired by the incredible story of how Australia became the unexpected world-leader of AIDS prevention and saved thousands of lives.
It’s 1983. Sydney is a magnet for misfits and Darlinghurst is the centre of gay life, teeming with leather bars, saunas, gay sex, discos, and drag shows.
David (Tim Draxl), an out gay man, has a shiny new job working for the Federal Health Minister. But when AIDS hits, David finds himself at the forefront of the nation’s response. Working closely with his boss Jeremy (Matt Day), David comes to realise that the best approach is to join forces with the communities most at risk – which includes the gay men, sex workers and IV drug users of Darlinghurst.
Working within this close-knit community, is Dr Paul (Nicholas Brown), who runs the local health clinic. With a waiting room full of young gay men, he sees the impact of the disease firsthand.
The gay rights group, led by the passionate Deb (Jada Alberts), and nun-habit wearing Tim (Ryan Murphy), don’t take long to swing into action, turning their attention from demanding gay sex be decriminalised, to fighting against AIDS. They establish advice hotlines, attend meetings with the government, and are trained by the nuns at St Vincents to care for AIDS patients. While a young country boy, Liam (Wil King), finds his voice as an activist, and refuses to bow to the violence meted out by homophobic gangs roaming gay beats.
The shocking speed and infectiousness of the virus brings these disparate groups together. With no vaccine and no cure in sight, they tirelessly work, as one, to stop the spread. However, fear and hysteria is mounting in the broader community, and when blood supplies are accidently infected, the backlash is swift and merciless.
For David, the work is unrelenting and ultimately comes at a great personal cost.
But whatever happens, there’ll always be a dance floor.
Production credits: In Our Blood is a Hoodlum Entertainment production for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation & Fremantle. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC. Financed with support from Screen Queensland. Distributed by Freemantle. Executive Producers: Nathan Mayfield, Tracey Robertson, Tracey Vieira and Adriano Cappelletta. Co-Executive Producer: Jane Allen. Producers: Nathan Mayfield and Tracey Robertson. Co-Producer: Ben McNeil. ABC Executive Producer: Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory. Written and Created by Adriano Cappelletta. Directors: John Sheedy and Nick Verso. Writer: Jane Allen and Jonathan Gavin.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Forty years since the first cases of AIDS were reported, we are ready to hear this story - it is a map to help us navigate a new pandemic. We can be inspired by how fearlessly the LGBTQIA+ community in Australia fought, how they changed their behaviour, how they trusted and took care of one another. Australia led the world with one of the most successful responses to a health crisis in history. In Our Blood demonstrates that when we are faced with a health crisis, if we mobilise as a community, educate ourselves and put our differences aside, we can save lives.
This is the story of how Australia got it right. While other stories have focused solely on activists and community members, In Our Blood dramatizes how a gay man inside the government was able to work with affected communities to achieve lasting change. It’s the untold story of Australia’s radical fight against AIDS and how the LGBTQ community, both sides of government, doctors, nuns and nurses united to save thousands lives. The fear, the solidarity and the determination to fight, party and love bravely are reflected through an ensemble cast of characters, inspired by interviews and extensive research.
Music is the emotional heartbeat of the story. It’s set to an 80’s pop era soundtrack sung by LGBTQIA+ performers acting as a kind of Greek chorus - our audience’s direct link into the world.
The experience of AIDS during those early years was so disorientating, dreamlike, pinch-yourself-is-this really happening, that music allows us to confront it, and escape it, at the time. The Chorus communicates the internal world of the characters, and they help us and them sing through the pain and celebration of life.
The LGBTQIA+ community doesn’t just have songs, we have anthems. Go into any gay club in the world and when these anthems play you will find everyone up dancing and singing with unfettered passion and glee. For three and a half minutes their souls take flight. In the song, they belong. This soundtrack will not only appeal to the LGBTQIA+ community, it will also captivate a broad audience, and lovers of 80’s music pop groups such as Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears and The Eurogliders to name a few. These are classic, timeless songs.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & PRODUCER – NATHAN MAYFIELD
Nathan Mayfield is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Hoodlum, an Emmy and BAFTA Award winning Production Company. Hoodlum operates their offices in Brisbane, Australia and in Los Angeles, developing feature film and television drama projects for the international marketplace. Mayfield has been the creative force behind Hoodlum’s multiplatform, television series and feature film work. He has worked alongside his co-founder Tracey Robertson to expand the business across the globe and across many different mediums.
Currently, Nathan is producing In Our Blood, a 4-part drama series for the ABC as well as season 4 of Five Bedrooms, which is set to premiere in 2023. He is also the Executive Producer on action-thriller Land of Bad, starring Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth.
Previously, Mayfield produced the three seasons of Five Bedrooms, an 8-part series which is on Paramount Plus in Australia and Peacock in the US. Recent producer credits include three seasons of Harrow for ABC Australia and Disney, feature film Australia Day for Foxtel and Icon and Australia’s first original Drama for Netflix, Tidelands.
Additionally, Hoodlum delivered two feature films for global SVODs; With the second series of ABC Signature / Amazon series The Wilds and ABC’s cutting edge series All My Friends Are Racist airing to huge acclaim.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & PRODUCER – TRACEY ROBERTSON
Tracey Robertson is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Hoodlum, an Emmy® and BAFTA Award-winning Entertainment Company. As CEO, Robertson leads market engagement with partners, networks and studios to produce scripted content globally.
Recently, Robertson produced the feature film Christmas on the Farm, now streaming on Stan and Hulu, and was Executive Producer on the feature film A Perfect Pairing for Netflix. Currently, Tracey is the Executive producer on action-thriller Land of Bad, as well as the 4-part drama series In Our Blood for the ABC. Hoodlum’s Tidelands, Netflix’s first original TV series for the territory and launched globally in 2018. Robertson also produced three seasons of Harrow with ABC Australia and ABCSI, as well as three seasons of Five Bedrooms for Paramount Plus in Australia and Peacock in the US.
Additionally, Hoodlum facilitated the second series of ABC Signature / Amazon series The Wilds and produced ABC’s cutting edge series All My Friends Are Racist streaming on ABC TV + iview.
Robertson is a member of BAFTA, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). She was recognized as an outstanding alumnus and is an Adjunct Professor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & PRODUCER – TRACEY VIERIA
Tracey Vieira is the Chief Content Officer for Emmy® and BAFTA Award winning film and television production company Hoodlum. Hoodlum operates between Australia, the US and the UK.
Since joining Hoodlum in 2019, Tracey has produced A Perfect Pairing, a romantic comedy feature for Netflix global released in May 2022 and went on to become the global number one film on the platform and produced Christmas on the Farm for Stan which was released in December 2021. Currently, Tracey is in development for a factual series with ABC and is Executive Producing action-thriller Land of Bad, starring Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth.
Prior to Hoodlum, Tracey was the CEO of Screen Queensland where she led the organisation through significant cultural change and growth from February 2014 to August 2019. Vieira was named in the 2018 Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and is the 2016 Telstra Queensland Businesswoman of the Year. Vieira currently Chairs the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and is a Director of Home of the Arts (HOTA) Gold Coast and Chair of Griffith Film School’s Advisory Board. She is an external Advisor to US based Australians in Film and President of Screen Producers Australia.
Tracey is a passionate animal advocate and spent four years as a company director for RSPCA Queensland.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER (EPS 1 & 4) – ADRIANO CAPPELLETTA
Adriano is an actor, writer, director, producer and theatre-maker for over 20 years.
After graduating from the NIDA Acting program, he was a recipient of The Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and The Mike Walsh Fellowship and traveled to Paris to study with master clown, Philippe Gaulier for several years.
In 2016 he was co-awarded the Philip Parsons Playwriting Fellowship for Ruby’s Wish which premiered at Belvoir St Theatre and toured to The Sydney Opera House, Arts Centre Melbourne, Parramatta Riverside and Awesome Arts WA.
His debut solo cabaret, This Boy’s in Love was nominated for Best Cabaret at Adelaide Fringe and Fringe World WA and was presented at The Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Provocaré Festival Melbourne and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
His other original theatre works include Cubbyhouse (The Public Theatre: New York), Connie Chang’s Cabaret Roadshow (Melbourne Comedy Festival, Sydney Opera House) and Shane and Eddie: Picking up the Pieces at The Edinburgh Fringe. His play, Never Let Me Go was presented at Griffin Theatre, Sydney as part of Batch Festival in 2019.
As an actor he recently appeared as Wilbur in Barking Gecko’s The Great Un-wondering of Wilbur Whittaker. From 2005-2016 he worked extensively in Sydney with Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image and The Ensemble Theatre under director Sandra Bates. He was nominated for Best Newcomer at The Sydney Theatre Awards for his role in A View from A Bridge. For Perth Festival: Dennis Cleveland: A Pop Opera, The Mules Foal (Perth Theatre Company).
On screen Adriano has appeared in the Australian feature film I am Woman (2019), US action-feature, Stealth (2005) and TV series, All Saints.
He is the co-creator and co-lead of the comedy series Ultimate Fanj which premiered on ABCiview for Fresh Blood.
In Our Blood marks Adriano’s first major TV series as creator/executive producer and a culmination of years of research on Australia’s response to AIDS. For Adriano, the series is his love letter to all those who fought bravely and to honour our LGBT and Australian history.