What Larks Diversity
 
Members of the Creative Diversity Network and the government’s Disability Confident Committed scheme, What Larks is active in promoting diversity in the TV industry both on and off screen. We run a work experience scheme for people with Asperger’s and learning disabilities and Alex Marshall who was the first to join the scheme is now working at What Larks as a researcher in development in both comedy and factual departments.

We have a close relationship with Access All Areas accessallareastheatre.org – an agency supporting actors with learning difficulties and recently made their show reel and organisations supporting disability employment, Even Break evenbreak.co.uk and Think Bigger thinkbigger.uk.com

Our experience of working with Alex has been extremely positive and enlightening – Alex has brought us a new perspective and way of viewing the world.

  Disability Confident Committed

Productions        
 
The Great British Paraorchestra
The Great British Paraorchestra

1 x 54 min for Channel 4
Broadcast: September 9th, 2012
Inspired by his 5-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy and the principles of the Paralympics, conductor Charles Hazlewood is determined to create a platform for talented disabled musicians...
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Dwarfs in Art - A New Perspective
Dwarfs in Art - A New Perspective

In this visually evocative film, Richard Butchins will explore a hidden chapter in the history of art, revealing how the depiction of dwarfs in painting, sculpture and photography speaks volumes about society’s shifting attitudes towards disability...
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Access All Areas
Showreel

Access All Areas makes urban, disruptive performance by learning disabled and autistic artists. They invited us to make their first show reel showing their extraordinary talent. In this show reel is an extract from Damned series 1 our sitcom starring Jo Brand & Alan Davies. This extract shows the talents of actors Zara Jayne and Dayo Koleosho from Access All Areas who played the roles of parents with learning disabilities - it transpires they are more on the case than social worker Al played by Alan Davies.
accessallareastheatre.org

MADHOUSE Re:Exit Trailer

What Larks Productions worked with theatre company Access All Areas who make urban, disruptive performance by artists with learning disabilities and autism, to create this trailer of their 2018 show MADHOUSE re:exit.

This immersive promenade show, which we filmed in performance at Shoreditch Town Hall, explores the history of people with learning disabilities being institutionalised by creating a modern ‘care facility’, in which actors and performers shared a fresh perspective on how society treats them.

       

In Development
 
Cripping Up with Richard Butchins

In this long overdue documentary timed to TX with 2018 Oscar coverage, at a time when combatting representation of people with disabilities on the screen has never been more important, Richard Butchins tells the hidden and controversial history of disability in film and looks at how far we’ve come.



The Changed Mind:
Art & Madness With Richard Butchins


In this bold and provocative film, artist and journalist Richard Butchins investigates and deconstructs the myth of the ‘mad’ artist. He’ll ask what ‘madness’ actually is (revealing that current science is as in the dark on this as we are) and explore the work of artists – famous and obscure – who have suffered from mental illness.



I’ve Been to The Mountain Top A Tribute to Dr Martin Luther King, Using His Last Speech. Directed by Shola Amoo

This will be an unashamedly artistic film that will reframe Martin Luther King for a new generation. It will dispel the image of a mild and saintly father-figure and instead show the truth – a young man, full of radical ideas, who, beset with doubt and insecurity about the world around him, nevertheless addressed it head on.
  Biopic on Frank Bowling

This long overdue film celebrates the life and remarkable work of Frank Bowling OBE, RA, the Guyana-born British painter who has dedicated his life to art. The first ever black artist to become a Royal Academician, Frank Bowling is indisputably one of the greatest painters of the post-war period.

Our hour-long documentary will intertwine interviews with Frank Bowling, at home and in his studio, with archive of his working practice. We will spend time with this charismatic artist, who at the age of 81, is still working daily and continuing to innovate.



Black Power Road Trip

Black Power Road Trip will take us on an epic journey across The States as we meet the surviving artists of colour who defiantly made art in a time of racial attacks, political assassinations, mass demonstrations and race riots.

From Emory Douglas, the former Minister of Culture for the Black Panthers who designed some of their most iconic imagery, to the revolutionary Betye Saar in LA, who has inspired everyone from Solange to Angela Davis, now in their 70s and 80s, these artists are ready to tell their story.



Inside the Asylum
with Dr John Wolf


In this beautifully composed and moving film, we will reveal how, rather than being confronted by a cruel and oppressive regime, the Victorians gave those considered ‘mad’ the opportunity to express themselves through art.

Life in the asylum will be explored through dramatic readings by actors of psychiatrists’ accounts of their patients and memoirs of the patients themselves. Original artworks will be revealed, many of them unseen until now.
  Autism, The Madhouse and Me With Alex Marshall

In a time of benefit cuts and stigma, Alex Marshall explores the topic of autism and Insane Asylums in Britain. Is the stigma that was prevalent surrounding disability and mental illness still present today or are we now much more accepting of one another?



Rebels of the World With Kiruna Stamell

As a woman with dwarfism, comedian and actress Kiruna Stammel has continually defied the limited expectations society has had of her. She sees herself as a rebel and a rule-breaker, and she’s keen to seek out other people across the globe who have broken the mould: eccentrics, pioneers and mavericks.

As she sets out on her journey, Kiruna will get a car adapted so she can drive unassisted in each country she visits and will hit the road on a comic and surprising mission to shine light on the people who, like her, are defying society and doing things their way: whether it’s a man who’d created his own eco island out of floating plastic bottles, a group of wheelchair paragliders or an 80-year-old female WWF2 wrestler.