Perhaps you would like to read my speech. My ideas on drama.
This is a wonderful opportunity for me
to express my thoughts – on our industry – The Media
and what it is like – to be someone – with a learning
In the beginning of my career
the stage managers and assistant directors
were Horrified when they saw me.
How were they going to keep to a tight schedule
with a central character played by someone with
What happens is we KEEP on schedule,
We DO good work – And – I earn respect.
I know this – because they tell me later
But now – they want to work with me again
Sorry if I am blowing my own trumpet
but to change things
I must talk about what I know
However my experience – is probably relevant to other
Lisa Evans wrote my first TV show
She then got commissioned
to write my first professional play
“Once We Were mothers” – In a 800 seater theatre
In the round – A challenge
The play was a success
and a few years later, it got another production
at the Orange Tree Richmond
With me attached
The writer trusts me
I Earn Trust
I am lucky as the press seem to like me
There are 1.4 million people – with a learning disability
I think more of these people
should be involved with the media.
I think we should have more positive reflections
in drama and print.
On stage I have played complex characters, who are
sometimes .. HAPPY and SUCCESSFUL
TV is inclined to only have stories
about the problems disability brings.
The character is a “Disability” not a “woman”.
However, some writers who work with me
go onto writing more complex characters.
Thanks Heidi Thomas for my character in
“Call the Midwife” – and Lisa Evans
May I suggest to TV bosses – think positive
have faith in your writers
as my American dad says
“some of the best ideas – come from left field”
I think that means – don’t be conservative.
You like winners!
You create winners by thinking differently
A few words about developing new talent
and changing public attitudes.
I would like to see more small parts
played by people with learning disability.
Where the character has Nothing to do with disability.
Perhaps the person in the newsagent
our hero chats to every day. Or
The receptionist who makes you smile
Non “issue” roles. Just part of society.
One last thought.
I had a young employee in a supermarket
come up to me.
Adam has a learning disability. He said
“Sarah you were brilliant yesterday, but you
are not doing us any favours
Your characters are always helpless and sad.
Please play a character with a job, a life and Giggles.
What could I say. I don’t rule the world.
I’m happy to work ….. but can I change anything?