“His Dark Materials” writer Jack Thorne has partnered with actor-turned-writer Genevieve Barr to create a factual drama for BBC Two based on the true story about the campaign for disabled civil rights in Britain.
With a working title of “Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won,” the 60-minute film centres on the people behind a campaign of direct action for disability rights.
The film enters the story through the eyes of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth (pictured), two disabled cabaret performers who met in 1989 and went on to become the driving force behind DAN (Direct Action Network).
Their incendiary ‘Piss on Pity’ protest slogan helped to re-frame the debate around disability rights in the U.K., while their spontaneous pickets shut down cinemas, restaurants, stations and even the London underground, until their rights were enshrined into law.
The one-off drama is being made by Endemol Shine Group-backed Dragonfly Film and TV and One Shoe Films.
With credits including “Kiri” and “National Treasure,” Thorne is one of Britain’s leading writers. Actor and writer Barr’s credits include “The Accident,” “The Silence” and “The Fades.”
Thorne said: “DAN changed the world through their actions, and they have never been properly celebrated for it. In this film we want to do that in a way that lauds their true punk spirit.”
Barr added: “DAN created opportunities and rights for so many of us disabled and to be able to say thank you in this creative way is really special.”
“Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won” was commissioned by Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two. The BBC commissioning editor is Abigail Priddle.
Executive producers include Richard Bond, Tom Pullen and Jack Thorne.