As a founder member of Blue Apple, Tommy has appeared in all the company's major stage productions, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Government Inspector, and The Hotel. He made history when he became the first professional actor with Down’s syndrome to play the lead role Hamlet in a tour to mainstream theatres across the south of England. In 2013 and 2014 Tommy also played the role of Bobby, a victim of hate crime in Living Without Fear, Blue Apple’s touring production about disability hate crime.
Working in television, Tommy was the first actor with Down’s Syndrome to play a lead in a primetime TV drama, starring opposite Nicholas Hoult in Mark Haddon’s feature-length BBC drama Coming Down The Mountain. He has since appeared in many programmes including Casualty, Holby City, and Off Their Rockers and has starred in several BBC documentaries. Tommy has also performed in various radio productions for BBC Radio4, including playing the lead in The Climb opposite Warwick Davies, and appeared in an episode of The Archers, playing Callum Longfield. His film work includes The Damned United, Day Of The Flowers, Freddie’s Story for Blue Apple, and the lead in various dramatic short films. He won Best Actor at several film festivals for his role in Down & Out, and the film Fighter, in which he played the title role, was premiered at the 2017 London Film Festival and won Best Film at FilmLondon.
Tommy is also a dancer and outside of Blue Apple productions he has also been working with the inspirational Daniel Vais and the Culture Device Dance Project, based in London.
Lawrie joined Blue Apple Theatre in 2009, making his debut as Tiny Tim in Blue Apple’s A Christmas Carol and quickly finding that there was nothing he liked more than being on stage. He had been captivated by Shakespeare from an early age and was delighted to play Lysander in Blue Apple’s magical promenade performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and, a few years later, Claudius in Hamlet, the making of which brought some of Blue Apple’s performers to a wider audience through the BBC documentary Growing up Downs.
In 2012 Lawrie had the good fortune to be included in Mark Rylance’s Pop-up Shakespeare project at the Globe, followed by street performances of Shakespeare’s sonnets with fellow actor Tommy Jessop in 2013. Performing as Benedick in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse for Blue Apple’s 10th birthday celebrations in 2016 was a further joy.
Beyond Shakespeare, Lawrie has enjoyed a range of parts, from M. Pinglet in Feydeau’s The Hotel to George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life; he is also a keen contemporary dancer, performing a memorable solo as Narcissus in Blue Apple’s recent Changes (2017). Outside Blue Apple, Lawrie has also worked as a voiceover artist for Saatchi and Saatchi and in small promotional films.
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