The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Arthur Hughes, “Casualty” actress Gabriella Leon and “Coronation Street” Melissa Johns are among the names lined up for “About Time!” a celebration of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent talent taking place in London on Friday 28th October.
As well as Hughes, Leon and Johns, participating actors include Scottish Theater Award nominee Jack Hunter, who was nominated for his play ‘One of Two’ at the Edinburgh Fringe, actor and comedian Jo Coffey (‘Waterloo Road”), Nadia Nadarajah (“Vampire Academy”), Steph Lacey (“Bridgerton”), musical artist Caroline Parker, Stephen Collins (“Dune”) and Tim Pritchett (“Black Mirror”).
Also part of the showcase are music supervisor Ben Goddard and singer/songwriter Max Runham, whose music for the event will be translated into British Sign Language (BSL) by Raphaelle Julien (“Clinks”), while the duo Chris Fonseca and Harry Jardine will perform their unique brand of BSL and rap.
Ruth Madeley (“Years and Years”) and Cherylee Houston (“Coration Street”) will host the event.
Created by Bridge06, a creative and strategic consultancy to improve the portrayal of disability in entertainment, and production company Hot Coals Productions, which specializes in creating accessible works for deaf and hearing audiences, “About Time! was designed with the intention of challenging the lack of opportunity and representation for performers with disabilities.
In addition to giving artists the opportunity to showcase their talents, the showcase will also act as a call to action to improve opportunities for Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent communities. As a condition of their attendance, guests will be asked to commit to at least one of the following five pledges:
- Choose a deaf, disabled, and/or neurodivergent actor as a lead or co-lead performer in a new show
- Develop a new title around a deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent actor
- Cast a comeback drama with a deaf, disabled, and/or neurodivergent actor in key roles/as lead
- Enforce a one-in-five rule for talent meetings and castings to improve opportunities for Deaf, disabled, and/or neurodivergent talent
- Schedule appointments with each of the actors participating in “About Time!” »
“About time! will take place at Bafta’s headquarters in central London and is supported by ITV, ITV Studios and The Walt Disney Company UK & Ireland, while the audience will include broadcasters, curators, casting directors, producers and d agents.
“We are thrilled to have brought together this group of talented, experienced and authentic storytellers. They are a fantastic example of the strength of actors working in the industry who will and should be household names,” said Sara Johnson of Bridge06 and Jo Sargeant and Clare-Louise English of Hot Coals Productions. “Our ten artists are a preview of the thousands of talents available in the industry and we hope that ‘About Time’ will be the last event of its kind because it is time for us all to do better for the representation and inclusion of people with disabilities. , deaf and/or neurodivergent talents within the industry.