‘Finders Keepers’ Stars HIT Staff
We are so excited for Thom Jackson-Wood, one of HIT’s facilitators, who features in the new Channel 5 drama Finders Keepers. Thom is such an asset to Herts Inclusive Theatre, working at our sessions in East Herts. He spoke to us about his experience working on Finders Keepers, and how his work with Herts Inclusive Theatre influenced his role as Josh.
What is Finders Keepers on Channel 5 about?
Finders Keepers is a gripping new drama from Channel 5. Broadcasting on Wednesdays at 9pm, all aired episodes can be found on My5 before the finale tonight.
Finders Keepers follows the story of a metal detectorist and his son-in-law who come across a hoard of Saxon gold on a bonding trip to Somerset. They quickly realise that the discovery is worth millions and must decide what to do next.
Alongside Thom, Finders Keepers stars Neil Morrisey as the metal detectorist Martin, James Buckley as his wheeler-dealer son-in-law Ashley, and Fay Ripley as Martin’s wife Anne.
Who does Thom play in Finders Keepers?
Thom plays Josh, the son of the metal detectorist Martin. Josh requires full-time care as a neurodivergent wheelchair user.
Thom’s character is non-verbal, which he says presented a different challenge to the roles he’d played in the past. Speaking to HIT, Thom said:
‘I’ve used a wheelchair since I was a teenager due to chronic fibromyalgia and I’ve been neurodivergent from birth, but this is the first time I’ve played a neurodivergent character onscreen – most of my previous acting roles were playing wheelchair users who were neurotypical.’
In Martin’s mind, Josh is the catalyst for many of the decisions he makes in Finders Keepers, so Thom’s performance was an important one to get right.
Disability on screen
Previously Thom has appeared in Casualty, Jerk, and as part of the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. Outside of his acting, Thom has also worked as a writer.
Speaking to Welwyn and Hatfield Times, Thom said:
‘Being unable to walk or talk, Josh could have easily been a very passive or tragic character, but I wanted to make him engaging to watch.’
It’s clear that Thom wanted to do Josh justice in his portrayal. We spoke to Thom about how he developed his performance:
‘Thanks to my work with Herts Inclusive Theatre, I’ve helped support a number of non-verbal disabled people, so I’m familiar with some of the struggles they face, but wearing Josh’s shoes gave me a whole new appreciation for the work they have to do to be heard.’
Characters such as Josh play a crucial role in fostering understanding and empathy among viewers. Hopefully, we’ll see plenty more of Thom on screen soon.
Thom’s work with Herts Inclusive Theatre
As Thom mentioned, he drew from his work with Herts Inclusive Theatre in developing his portrayal of Josh.
Having been a volunteer in East Herts for several months, Thom has recently begun working for HIT as a freelance facilitator with our Hertford & Ware 16+ group. All members of the HIT team are so impressed with Thom’s commitment to inclusion, easy manner with the participants, and adaptability at sessions.
Lately, Thom has been working hard on our Power-Up East Herts project. We are all looking forward to the celebration day on the 12th of February – where we expect to see plenty of Thom’s incredible camera work on show.
This group has such a wonderful community of participants, likely due to Thom’s work in creating a space where everyone feels supported and included.
Watch Finders Keepers on Channel 5 tonight!
Thom’s incredible spirit and obvious acting talent means his starring role in Finders Keepers came as no surprise to the team at HIT. So, join us in applauding Thom for his outstanding acting achievement and in supporting Herts Inclusive Theatre’s ongoing efforts to create a stage for everyone.
You can watch the final episode of Finders Keepers on Channel 5 tonight at 9pm. To catch up on episodes one to three, head to My5.
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