As well as being one of the Lead Artists, Jamie Beddard is also part of the creative team behind Extraordinary Bodies. Jamie has Cerebral Palsy, and having grown up in a time when opportunities for disabled people in the arts were limited, he was lucky to be offered an acting role by the BBC which kicked off his professional career. Since then Jamie has taken the arts world by storm. In 2011 he left his role as Diversity Officer for the Arts Council to concentrate on developing his freelance portfolio. He has been an associate director for Graeae Theatre company, co-editor of ‘Disability Arts in London’ magazine, in 2012 he directed ‘Breathe/Battle for the Winds’ for the opening ceremony celebrating the Olympic Sailing, and in 2013 he became a Clore Fellow. He is now Co-Director of Diverse City, Agent for Change at The New Wolsey Theatre, and has recently starred in ‘The Threepenny Opera’ at National Theatre (Rufus Norris, 2016) and ‘Messiah’ at Bristol Old Vic (Tom Morris, 2017).
Jamie acts as an advocate for the integrated sector, working tirelessly for change. He holds Extraordinary Bodies close to his heart because the project brings communities together and creates unlikely connections between people. Jamie believes that in this current climate of austerity, which is particularly affecting disabled people, it’s these partnerships that hold the key to a brighter future.
“At the grand old age of 48, I unexpectedly ran away to the circus. A new world opened up; new challenges, aesthetics, collaborators and creative expressionism. We are changing the sector explicitly, and the wider community and world, implicitly.”