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TV

Everything you need to know about ABC's Riot

Aside from the fact it's a must watch.

By Helen Vnuk
While Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was announcing plans for a national vote on same-sex marriage in August, filming was underway on telemovie Riot.
The ABC drama tells the story of Australia's 1970s gay rights movement and the country's first Mardi Gras.
Damon's character fights for equal rights.
Star Damon Herriman tells TV WEEK the timeliness of the telemovie's shoot was "very much on our minds".
"We would often say that, by the time Riot screened, there could be a result [from the postal vote as to whether the populace supported same-sex marriage]," he explains.
"Either way, if the result was for or against marriage equality, it would hang over watching this show."
In 1978, the first Mardi Gras was meant as a celebration. At first, people joyfully paraded in the streets. But then the police moved in. And Riot doesn't shy away from the violence of that night.
Meet the cast portraying the characters at the forefront of the movement...

Xavier Samuels & Damon Herriman

Damon (right) plays Lance Gowland, who drove the lead truck in Australia's first Mardi Gras.
Xavier is doctor Jim Walker (left), who joined his partner, Lance, in the political protest.

Jessica De Gouw & Kate Box

Kate (right) stars as teacher Marg McMann at the forefront of the lesbian rights movement.
Jessica (left) plays Robyn Plaister, who clashed with police on the night of the 1978 Mardi Gras.

Ron Austin (Josh Quong Tart)

Josh is Ron Austin, who brought a light touch to the LGBT rights movement. Josh also helped with research for Riot.

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