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Angus Thompson and Nina Oyama: The Angus Project

A man in a wheelchar alongside a standing woman. Both look at the other.

Alyssa From Access2Arts had the opportunity to chat with Angus Thompson and Nina Oyama from The Angus Project. The Angus Project started out as a web series as part of Screen Australia and ABC COMEDY’s Fresh Blood Initiative. A 30 minute pilot episode was be broadcast on ABC TV on Tuesday, 4 December 2018 at 9:30pm. If you missed the broadcast, it is available to  stream anytime on ABC ivew. 

The show follows the wild adventures of Angus (Angus Thompson), an aspiring sports journalist with cerebral palsy, and his hopeless carer Nina (Nina Oyama) in the rural town of Bathurst.

Angus Thompson, who stars as the shows lead role, is  an actor with cerebral palsy. The Angus Project is loosely based on his own life.

The Angus Project offers  a very refreshing, unique take on disability, Angus and Nina party, get very drunk, take drugs and get involved in some crazy situations.

Of this, Nina said: We wanted to dispel the myth that people with disabilities have to live this very inspirational life and have these very sanitized experiences. We just want to normalise it in that way”.

“I’ve noticed that people with disabilities are placed in this little bubble”, Angus said.  “I want the whole community to see what we set out to do in our lives”.

Additionally, the show is a platform for conversation about disability representation in TV. Angus feels The Angus Project is “a way to tell my story and show others my situation to perform”.  He hopes it will pave the way to have “disabled people as characters in their own TV shows”.

I think it doesn’t have to be a big deal for there to be a character with a disability” Nina said.

Nina advises disabled artists who want to get more involved in the arts reach out to organisations that support people with disabilities getting into art, such as Access2Arts, as well as applying for grants. “That’s how we got The Angus Project and that’s how we hope to get more money in the future, it’s definitely by applying for funding through Screen Australia”.

“I’d say if you have an idea, go and use it as best as you can, in any way that you can. We started with an idea and we ran with it.” Angus said.

Those who tune into The Angus Project Pilot will see performances from a range of Australian comedians such as Sammy J, Rob Sitch and Veronica Milson. There’s also a hilarious situation between Angus and a horse. Intrigued? You’ll need to watch to find out more!

Rated MA15+

Watch the pilot trailer here.

View the original 3 episode web series here.

Stream The Angus Project 30 minute pilot on ABC iview.