CripTales
CripTales

CripTales – a collection of six short films curated by Mat Fraser (His Dark Materials, American Horror Story) – each one written, directed and performed by a person living with disabilities will world premiere on BBC America on October 1.

The six 15-minute monologues will premiere on Thursday, October 1 at 10pm ET/9c on BBC America and the entire collection of films will also be available to stream at the start of National Disability Employment Awareness Month across the digital platforms of the AMC Networks Entertainment group: BBC America, AMC, IFC, SundanceTV and AMC+.

Each film is a fictional monologue capturing a life-changing moment for a person with disabilities, based on factual research and lived experience and spanning the last 50 years of British history.

The monologues are written by Mat Fraser, Jackie Hagan, Jack Thorne, Genevieve Barr, Tom Wentworth, Matilda Ibini; performed by Mat Fraser, Robert Softley Gale, Ruth Madeley, Jackie Hagan, Liz Carr, Carly Houston; and directed by Ewan Marshall, Amit Sharma and Jenny Sealey.

The films cover a variety of experiences, from an actor (played by Fraser) in the present day waiting to go into an audition and dreading how it will be, to a young woman in 1968 (played by Madeley; Years and Years, BBC America’s The Watch) contemplating the future of her pregnancy.

“I’m so proud and excited to present these wonderful stories for mainstream TV audiences around the world, thanks to BBC America and BBC Studios,” said Fraser. “The authentic voices, taut direction and shining performances combine to make a series of diverse and dramatic monologues that are compelling, refreshing, and above all, entertaining.”

“CripTales brings to our screens a beautiful collection of short films, curated by the incredibly talented Mat Fraser, shining a light on stories that don’t often make it to primetime,” said Courtney Thomasma, Executive Director of BBC America. “At times hilarious and at others heart-breaking, these monologues exemplify both the diversity of experience among people living with disabilities and the thoroughly relatable dilemmas we all face in life.”

During the broadcast and online, AMC Networks will share with viewers how they can support the efforts of The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), one of the leading national cross-disability civil rights organization that advocates for the full recognition of rights of over 60 million Americans with disabilities.

To mark the launch of CripTales and October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, AMC Networks will share a Visibility Collection that includes CripTales, Critics Choice Award winner Push Girls, and This Close, which has received the Ruderman Family Foundation Seal of Authentic Representation. The Visibility Collection will be available to stream free (no log-in required) across the apps and websites of BBC AMERICA, AMC, IFC and SundanceTV for the month of October. Visit www.VisibilityCollection.com for more.

FILMS:

“Audition”
By Mat Fraser
Actor: Mat Fraser
Director: Ewan Marshall

Mat sits in the waiting room before an audition, dreading how it will be. He re-lives some of his best and worst moments in auditions, and takes us back to his childhood where he unlocks the reasons for his fears, before finding the way to triumph…Or does he?

“Thunderbox”
By Genevieve Barr
Actor: Ruth Madeley
Director: Amit Sharma

It is 1968, and Sue is in the toilet at a Pop Festival. Abortion has recently been legalized; it’s a moment of liberation. But for Sue, a wheelchair user, it throws up difficult questions of bodies and belief. A whirlwind romance has left her pregnant. What should she do now?

“The Real Deal”
By Tom Wentworth
Actor: Liz Carr
Director: Ewan Marshall

Meg is looking out her window trying to catch sight of a man whom she thinks is a benefits cheat. She is compiling details about him in order to shop him for fraud. But unexpectedly, he forges a friendship with her and encourages her to claim more benefits for herself. A dark and witty tale set against the benefits system in the U.K.

“Hamish”
By Jack Thorne
Actor: Robert Softley Gale
Director: Amit Sharma

It’s 1981. Hamish’s parents have been fundraising to buy him a new wheelchair. Crucially, it is a self-operated vehicle, and a chance for independence. Pushed everywhere by caregivers before this, Hamish heads for the woods to find sexual pleasure. But he hasn’t counted on such rough terrain…

“Paper Knickers”
By Jackie Hagan
Actor: Jackie Hagan
Director: Ewan Marshall

Jackie is in a hospital bed. She is facing a decision about whether to have her leg amputated. As she thinks through her options, she explores her feelings for someone she has recently met, who seems interested in her. Will she have a chance of pursuing her romance with only one leg? A bold, witty exploration of what it is to be an amputee.

“The Shed”
By Matilda Ibini
Actor: Carly Houston
Director: Jenny Sealey

A children’s writer finds herself falling in love with Keira, her next-door neighbor. But Ellie, her caregiver, does not approve of the relationship. She starts to subtly block and subvert the romance, with dangerous consequences. A chilling tale exploring the power that a caregiver can exert over a wheelchair user’s life.

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