Young Hackney actors created a Zoom film while in lockdown

Hackney Shed actor.

A Hackney film starring young people with learning disabilities and neurodiversities was created entirely on Zoom over lockdown. - Credit: Barry Fitzgerald

A team of young people with learning disabilities and neurodiversities such as autism, spent the start of this year creating a film made entirely on Zoom. 

Performing arts youth group Hackney Shed Collective premiered the film, called Find a Partner, on May 29 at Homerton's Castle Cinema.

The cast, all aged 15-25, and invited guests turned up to watch the film created as part of The National Theatre's country-wide Connections Festival.

Anna Clover from Hackney Shed said: "We are so proud of this film and all the work the young people have put in to produce this fantastic piece of work.

"This is our third year doing National Theatre Connections, and while Hackney Shed Collective always face additional barriers to access this festival, the pandemic has thrown in our way a whole new range of obstacles."

Find A Partner premiere at Castle Cinema.

The film premiered at Homerton's community cinema Castle Theatre. - Credit: Barry Fitzgerald

The film, written by Miriam Battye and adapted by Hackney Shed, tells the stories of contestants in a sinister TV dating show and explores the lengths they are willing to go for fame, for love and to win. 

Its young stars had a bag of costumes, props and a script hand delivered to their door and every week for three months they came together online to turn a brand new script, originally written for the stage, into a film. 

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None of the actors were able to see each other during the filming and the movie was edited by Hackney based Odd Eyes Theatre. 

A young Hackney Shed actor with props and in costume.

Young people acting in the film were sent props, costumes and scripts. - Credit: Barry Fitzgerald

Anna added: "As a team we have been blown away, not just by the talent of our company as performers, but by their ability to adjust to a whole new way of working, their sensitivity in exploring very timely content and their unwavering commitment both to creating the film but most importantly to supporting each other.

"It’s wonderful to see the young performers grow in confidence, work with each other and then get to celebrate that work on such a professional platform."

The film is set to be broadcast via Aberstwyth Arts Centre in Wales as part of The National Theatre Connections festival on June 12. 

At a later date it will also be available to watch on Hackney Shed’s own YouTube channel.

Find out more at

Hackney Shed Collective actor.

Hackney Shed Collective is a group of learning disabled and neuro diverse actors aged 15 - 25. - Credit: Barry Fitzgerald

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