Don’t Make Tea

Written by Rob Drummond
Directed by Robert Gale

Jump to casting call

ABOUT THE PLAY

The year is 2030 and the world is … similar. The benefits system has been overhauled, again, and Chris has been declared fit for work under the new criteria. But there must be some sort of mistake. Chris is disabled. She needs support. She doesn’t like it, but it’s true. Perhaps Ralph, from the Department, can help her. He’s come to her house to assess her. To decide what her future will be. He seems fair minded. Sympathetic. He is absolutely certain that ‘Omni-Cred’ will tackle all of the problems the old system created. But once the interview begins it becomes clear that Chris’s problems are only just beginning. 

Is this system really designed to help her? Perhaps she is capable of more than she thinks. How can getting more people into work be a bad thing? And how far will she go to make sure she gets what she needs?

In Autumn 2022 we will premiere a new comedy by Rob Drummond. Don’t. Make. Tea. asks serious questions about our disability benefits system and about how we value disabled people.

This might not sound like a lot of laughs, but with murder and lies on the table, the stakes are higher than usual!

CASTING CALL

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is seeking performers for their new play Don’t. Make. Tea. by Rob Drummond.

We are looking for a total of three actors. Two disabled female-identifying performers and one male-identifying performer who could be non-disabled or have an invisible impairment. The contract will be for five weeks this Sept / Oct 2022 for rehearsals and performances in Edinburgh. The piece is set in a nondescript western country and we are keen to hear a broad range of accents for casting.  

BOP is looking for performers who can fulfil these character roles:

CHRIS – Female who has worked as a police officer her whole life but now, due to gradual sight loss, she is unable to work in that same job. Chris is in her 40s or 50s, not near retiral. A proud person – capable but has reached her limits. We are looking for a disabled female-identifying performer for this role.

JUDE – 30’s or so married to our benefits assessor, currently with no children – wheelchair user. Prides herself on being highly capable. Has a complex relationship with her impairment. We are looking for a disabled female-identifying performer for this role.

RALPH – a benefits assessor – married man currently with no children. Is driven by ‘doing his job correctly’ – sticking to the rules and following them rigorously gives him a sense of purpose. But when push comes to shove Ralph, like us all, has his limits. What will he do to protect his own? We are looking for a male-identifying performer who could be non-disabled or have an invisible impairment for this role. 

The performers will be required for 5 weeks of work in Edinburgh

Date: 5th Sept – 9th Oct 2022

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Rate of Pay: 

  • £550 per week on ITC/Equity contracts. 
  • Expenses including relocation will be paid as required. 
  • BOP will work to meet access requirements and we have a specific budget set aside for this – we do not want an individual’s access requirements to be a barrier that prevents them auditioning or working for us.

We are keen to hear from applicants who traditionally have experienced barriers and identity as coming from a mixed heritage background or a person of colour, LGBTQ+ or from a low social-economic background. 

If you are interested please contact Michelle, Producer on casting@boptheatre.co.uk by 5pm on 30th May 2022.  

Please provide a CV and short letter, max 500 words, detailing the part you are interested in and your key relevant experience. You can also submit a video or audio file. Please include a link to your showreel if you have one.

If you have an access statement please include this with your CV and letter. There will be future opportunities to discuss your access requirements. 

We will be in contact with applicants on Monday 6th / Tuesday 7th June with the first proposed auditions being held online Wed 15th & Thur 16th June.

Benefits Debate

Image card containing event information that is found elsewhere on this page: 29th April 2022 7.30pm - 9.00pm Traverse Theatre In-person Live stream

On Friday 29th April 2022, we hosted a debate event that explored disabled people’s experience of the benefits system to date and wider systems and attitudes that society constructs to support disabled people. 2022 sees the introduction of Adult Disability Payment in Scotland so it was an ideal time to ask questions.

Panellists were Ben Macpherson, Minister for Social Security, Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP (LAB), Jeremy Balfour MSP (CON) and Bill Scott, Senior Policy Advisor for Inclusion Scotland, Dr Sally Witcher, Freelance Consultant – see bleow for more information about them. The event was hosted by Joyce McMillan.

On Friday 29 April, join us in conversation in person at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh or online. Tickets for in-person or online are ‘Pay What You Can’. On booking you will have the opportunity to submit a question for the panel.

The event was pay what you can, and was live captioned and BSL interpreted.

The capacity of the auditorium was capped to allow some distance to be left between groups.

MEET THE PANEL

Ben Macpherson MSP, Minister for Social Security and Local Government

Ben grew up in Edinburgh before studying a BA Honours degree in Philosophy and Politics at the University of York. After graduating he returned to Edinburgh and worked in a number of different roles before going on to complete a postgraduate LLB and a Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Edinburgh. He then qualified as a solicitor and practised as a lawyer with one of Scotland’s large commercial firms. As well as his legal training, Ben has worked in financial services, for an NGO, in renewable energy, in a school and in hospitality.

Throughout his career, Ben has been a committed political activist. In 2016 this culminated in being elected as the MSP for the Edinburgh Northern and Leith constituency, where he lives.

As a backbencher, Ben has previously served on the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee, Justice Committee and Sub-Committee on Policing. He was also a Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minster between 2016-2018.

In June 2018 Ben was appointed Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, before becoming Minister for Public Finance and Migration in February 2020, and Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment in December 2020. In May 2021 he took up his current role as Minister for Social Security and Local Government.

He is a committed internationalist and passionate about social justice and sustainable, inclusive economic progress. Beyond working and campaigning, Ben likes running, football and watching films and documentaries.

Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP, (Labour)

Pam Duncan-Glancy is a Scottish Labour MSP representing the Glasgow Region, and Scottish Labour’s Spokesperson for Social Justice and Social Security. She is the first permanent wheelchair user to have been elected to the Scottish Parliament. Pam attended Stirling University where she studied psychology and was the first disabled person to be election to the National Union on Students, before moving to Glasgow. Pam previously worked in the third sector, including for Inclusion Scotland, and then at Public Health Scotland before becoming an MSP. She is married, with a dog – Tony the cockapoo.

Jeremy Balfour MSP, (Conservative)

Jeremy was born in Edinburgh and spent most of his life in Scotland. After studying law, he worked as a solicitor for a short time before becoming a Baptist Minister. Jeremy has also worked in the Third Sector. Jeremy was a Councillor in Edinburgh for 12 years and was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016. Jeremy was born with a physical disability and has campaigned on greater rights for all disabled indviduals.  At present, he is on the Social Justice and Social Security Committee and is involved in a number of Cross Party Committees.  He is married with twin girls and enjoys, travelling, reading and sport.

Bill Scott, Senior Policy Advisor – Inclusion Scotland

Bill is Chair of the Poverty & Inequality Commission for Scotland. He has worked at Inclusion Scotland, a Disabled People’s Organisation, for 15 years and is currently their Senior Policy Advisor. He has also previously worked as – a Senior Researcher in the Scottish Parliament; as Deputy Manager of Pilton Community Health Project; as Director of Lothian Anti-Poverty Alliance; as a Racial Equality Officer and as an Employment and Welfare Rights Worker. Bill serves on a number of Scottish Government advisory groups including the Disability and Carers Benefits Expert Advisory Group and Minimum Income Guarantee Expert Group.

Dr Sally Witcher, Freelance Consultant

Dr Sally Witcher is a freelance consultant, a disabled person and disability benefit recipient. Former roles include CEO of Inclusion Scotland and Child Poverty Action Group (UK), Chair of the Disability Employment Advisory Group (UK Government) and senior civil servant in the Office for Disability Issues, DWP. Academic experience includes a Phd on diversity and social inclusion and advisory committee member for the LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. She currently chairs the Scottish Commission on Social Security (but will not be speaking in that capacity).

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