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Jack Thorne: ‘Diversity conversations must include disability’

Jack Thorne. Photo: Manuel Harlan
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne has claimed disability is being “left out of every diversity conversation” in the arts.

Thorne was speaking on a panel at the launch of Graeae Theatre Company’s book Reasons to Be Graeae: A Work in Progress at the National Theatre in London, where he urged the industry to do more to identify parts in productions that can be played by a disabled person.

The writer, whose collaborations with Graeae include The Solid Life of Sugar Water, has previously spoken about his experience of having the “invisible disability” cholinergic urticaria, which is an allergy to heat.

“Within the thing that’s happening at the moment, diversity generally, the trouble is that disability is being left out of every diversity conversation,” Thorne said.

He added: “So you’ve got a situation where everyone is prepared to set targets for everything else, and then you try and include disability within it, and it’s not happening. Channel 4 is doing it, but I don’t think the BBC is.”

Thorne argued that the industry was facing a “long-term ongoing battle” to get more disabled actors represented on stage and screen.

He said: “When you have auditions, try to identify some parts where you can have disabled actors in for the roles. It’s happening, but it’s happening very slowly.”