When The Wheels Come Off- A film about Life in Lockdown

A cast of Devon-based disabled actors were joined by Coronation Street star Cherylee Houston in a short film which explores isolation in lockdown.


‘When The Wheels Come Off’ is a new drama which premiered online on Thursday 29 October. It was produced by CEDA and performed by their drama group, a company of actors who use performing skills to tell their stories of life and disability. Their work deals with the trials and frustrations, the victories and challenges of everyday life.

The group worked together online to build a story around thoughts, feelings and ideas which they had started to discuss in workshops before lockdown. The drama starts before lockdown, with a news report about Rona, a wheelchair user who was isolated in her flat for over six weeks because the lift was broken.

As part of the drama, Rona looks out of the window and the audience hears her thoughts which are voiced by Cherylee Houston.

CEDA’s Craig Bowden said:
“When we were looking for someone to voice Rona’s thoughts, we felt it was vital that that person was a disabled actor. We invited Cherylee to be part of the project, and we were delighted when she accepted. It’s been a great experience for the team to work with her as an actor, and as an advocate for disability access.”

The drama was filmed using mobile phones with remote direction via zoom. Although this process was challenging, it also opened up possibilities for the team.

Writer and Director Conor Magee said:
“Many disabled people experience isolation in their lives, and feel the frustration of not being able to do the things they need to or the things they enjoy, because the system lets them down. During this unusual time, we have all had a taste of what that’s like – but will we all remember after the pandemic has passed? That’s the question we ask through this drama. It’s a tough question to confront the audience with, and it’s a very important one.”

The drama was produced as part of CEDA’s ongoing partnership with Exeter Northcott Theatre.

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