Jack Thorne, Genevieve Barr Pen Disability Discrimination Act Drama


BBC Two has commissioned Dragonfly Film and TV and One Shoe Films to produce a new factual drama to mark the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won (working title) will be written by multiple BAFTA-winner Jack Thorne and award-winning actor-turned-writer Genevieve Barr. It tells the story through the eyes of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth, two disabled cabaret performers who met at a gig in 1989, fell in love, had a baby and would go on to become the driving force behind DAN: the Direct Action Network.

Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, said: “The story of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth’s Direct Action Network is a vital piece of modern history and I am so delighted to announce this factual drama about their campaign. To have writers of the caliber of Jack Thorne and Genevieve Barr is brilliant. This film builds on the recent successes in the genre like Doing Money, Responsible Child and The Windermere Children, making BBC Two a home to these most essential factual stories explored through drama.”

Thorne said: “I can’t tell you how exciting it’s been working with the brilliant Genevieve Barr and Dragonfly on this script. 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: “It is humbling to be part of the extraordinary team that is Jack Thorne and Dragonfly and be able to bring this story to life. 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.”

Creative Director for Dragonfly, Richard Bond, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be embarking on Dragonfly’s first drama in collaboration with two such fantastically talented writers. This is an incredibly important story that deserves to be told, and we couldn’t imagine anyone better to do it justice than Jack and Genevieve.”