Amy Trigg: ‘Every disabled person in the industry gets put up for one role’

The winner of the Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020, ‘Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me’ is a hilariously honest look at life for a young woman with spina bifida. Its writer and star Amy Trigg tells Isobel Lewis about her first time seeing disabled actors on stage, playing a character that’s a little bit like yourself and how Covid has actually helped improve accessibility

Tuesday 25 May 2021 15:40
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<p>‘I’ve managed to do so much more in the last few months than I would have done normally’</p>

‘I’ve managed to do so much more in the last few months than I would have done normally’

Amy Trigg didn’t see anyone who looked like her on stage or screen growing up. The actor and writer, who was born with spina bifida (a condition where the spine doesn’t develop in the womb), counts Tanni Grey-Thompson’s autobiography among her limited cultural exposure to people who also used wheelchairs. Trigg had no Paralympic ambitions, sure, but she took what she could get. Now, she’s looking to right these wrongs with her new play Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me, which opens at London’s Kiln Theatre this week.

A one-woman show, the darkly comic play follows Juno, a young woman with spina bifida, as she looks back on her life so far. It’s a show about disability, but also one about love and a desire to be loved by the people around us. While Trigg points out that being disabled has naturally had “an effect on everything I do without me realising it, in good ways and bad ways and then all the other ways”, the story is universal.

Given that Juno voices all the other characters, you might assume that Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me is autobiographical. But while there are “obviously similarities”, Trigg is not Juno. She hopes to see other actors play the role in the future – although admittedly the show requires a “slim casting bracket”. It’s something she would never compromise on. As the script’s character breakdown reads: “Juno should be played by a disabled actress. If you can’t find a disabled actress, then look a bit harder.”

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