Starring role in TV’s Shameless for Lauren

Lauren Pearcey, 20, of Hebden Bridge has Downs Syndrome and has been training as an actress with Huddersfield-based drama school Full Body & the Voice, which works with learning disabled people. She is to appear in an upcoming episode of Shameless.
Lauren Pearcey, 20, of Hebden Bridge has Downs Syndrome and has been training as an actress with Huddersfield-based drama school Full Body & the Voice, which works with learning disabled people. She is to appear in an upcoming episode of Shameless.

A GROUND-BREAKING new episode of Shameless is to star a young Hebden Bridge woman with Down’s Syndrome.

Lauren Pearcey, 20, is one of eight actors to be cast in an upcoming instalment of the hit Channel 4 show.

They are all core members of Huddersfield-based Full Body and the Voice, a theatre company for performers with learning disabilities.

Shameless producer and director Lawrence Till approached the company’s artistic director Vanessa Brooks after seeing her work in Huddersfield and collaborating with her on a play.

He said: “I hope that the resulting episode shows the skill, enthusiasm and commitment of this talented group of actors, and that Shameless can play its part in both the future of the company as well as producing ground-breaking work for 21st century audiences.”

The storyline, which Vanessa helped develop with scriptwriter Ian Kershaw, sees Micky Maguire working with a group of learning disabled students as part of his community service.

The characters are revolutionary in the way they represent learning disabled people, in that they are seen drinking, swearing and behaving badly – just like the other characters in the controversial series.

The actors have just finished an eight-day shoot on location at the show’s set in Wythenshawe, Manchester, and the episode is expected to air in autumn.

“This was an outstanding opportunity to put training into practice,” said Vanessa.

“Our actors are accomplished professionals and the experience of being on set, working with a great script, in front of an exceptional crew and highly respected director and producer, is one that will develop their skills enormously.”

lWill you be watching Lauren when the show is broadscast? Email yoursay@halifax courier.co.uk