From the liberation of the electric wheelchair to the ignominy of discrimination and incarceration, there have been both great advances and terrible setbacks for disabled people in Britain over the last fifty years.
Hard-hitting and hilarious, personal and poignant, CripTales comprises six fictional monologues portraying some very real experiences. From negotiating friendships and personal assistants, navigating the benefits system, and experiencing sexual fulfilment, they challenge the view that having a disability is a problem or ‘not normal’. Normal doesn’t exist!
CripTales was commissioned by the BBC and broadcast on BBC Four and BBC America in 2020 to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act, which criminalised discrimination against disabled people in many areas of life. The production had disabled people at its core – as writers, directors and actors of all six monologues.
Mat Fraser, the series’ Creative Director, said, ‘Disabled voices have been shut out of mainstream TV drama for too long and this is a chance to showcase some of the wonderful, inventive, funny, dramatic, sexy and sobering potential available… We called the series CripTales, as the word ‘crip’ has been taken by the disabled community as a self-empowering title since the late ’80s, and these are authentic stories and tales from people who identify as Deaf and Disabled people and who are embedded in disabled community.’
‘Hilarious and wise and gentle and furious all at once’
— The Times
‘Moving and authentic… succeeds both as a collective artistic statement, and as an unusually in-depth experience in disability awareness… an emotionally complex, topically diverse series that makes a strong statement for the disability experience and disabled artists’ unique ability to interpret it’
‘A brilliant, shocking, and funny collection… feels like a significant step forward’
— Culture Whisper
‘Sharp, dark and unexpected all at once… these monologues give Alan Bennett a run for his money’
— The i paper
‘Thought-provoking, amusing and touching’
— Financial Times