12 August 2004

Last night I got to live part of the dream.

I wheeled over a red carpet.

Sadly, I've not been sneaking off and making groundbreaking, fascinating, hilarious, insightful movies. But you can still half smile when you cross the red carpet of someone else's movie.

Was the experience as exciting and glamourous as one would imagine? No. Actually. The best adjective to describe the evening is probably "sweaty."

You see, I'd misread and thought that the "event" was at the Curzon Soho. But, my friend who I was meeting called and said "I think it's at the Curzon Mayfair." - she went to investigate while I was still somewhere around Baker Street, being the punctually challenged little thing that I am. She called me back a few minutes later having seen the sign outside the Curzon Soho "No, you were right, it is here."

Phew. Though I could possibly of done with it being in Mayfair, I may of been all of about two minutes less late.

I arrive, 5 minutes before the "event" is due to start.

"AfterLife is showing at the Curzon Mayfair." said Mr Box Office Man.


I may of missed going circuit training (OK, that's a confession for another post. It's really not so bad now my muscles are getting a bit more used to being... used) and my friend may of missed kick boxing, but we certainly got our exercise on the, well, less than gentle jog from the one cinema to the other. Hmmm. Sweaty. How glamourous.

Fortunately things were running even later than me, and we didn't even miss Donal McIntyre's introduction to the film. Hows that for... um.... something...???

The film is about the relationship between brother (Kenny, non-disabled, journalist, determined) and sister (Roberta, artist, has Downs Syndrome, sarcastic) and how it develops when their mother (May, terminally ill, Roberta's full time assistant, dangerously over-protective) is dying.

While the writer, director, etc, were all present and gave their speeches, in addition to representatives of various disability organisations, there were only two members of the cast in attendance; Paula Sage (Roberta) and Shirley Henderson (Kenny's girlfriend Ruby). When they were called to the stage, Paula Sage went to the microphone to speak, and could barely even see over the podium, never mind get close enough to the mic to be heard.

That's disability equality for you.

One of the speakers was from "Disability Equality in Education" - perhaps "Disability Equality in Public Speaking," is the next step for them.

I think that's possibly the best access faux pas since the BBC gave Tanni Grey-Thompson one of the sports personality of the year awards but forgot to get a ramp so she could get on the stage to collect it.

Of course, the dream for me is still alive. Not only do I want the Empire to have to red carpet their "accessible entrance" (sounds like something you might find written on a T-shirt in Essex with an arrow pointing down) down the piss-stinking back alley. I now want to get on the stage and talk too. Yes.

We can all dream, can't we? Or maybe not in my case, as the shortage of shut-eye I'm getting is still preventing me from doing so. Maybe I should sabbotage my own wind-screen wipers or something?

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