My name is Mark Blevins, I am 20 years old and I live in County Down, in Northern Ireland. At the moment, I am in a play called ‘Down’s But Not Out’.
It is about a boy with Down’s syndrome, called Luke Sharkey, who gets bullied back in the sixties. It’s also about how attitudes have changed now and how the lives of people with a learning disability are so different 50 years on.
I have never been bullied and the bullies would get into trouble with my mum if they did bully me! But I hope the play will change people’s attitudes towards people with a learning disability, like me.
I started acting when I was four. I did speech and drama at school, then my mum took me to Mulligan’s Drama School in Banbridge – anyone can join it. Later on, I did the musical ‘Blood Brothers’ for my GCSEs – I got an A in the practical and C overall.
I have done lots of musicals and played all different parts. I have acted in the musicals ‘Bugsy Malone’ and ‘Hulk’, at the Grand Opera House in Belfast. But ‘Down’s But Not Out’ is my first play.
I have played Luke seven times, so I know my lines very well, but I still have to learn them every night for weeks before the show. I have been Luke in lots of different places in Northern Ireland. Recently, I played Luke in Cookstown, and on 27 October I will be in another performance in Portadown.
I enjoy being on stage and also meeting lots of people and making new friends. I don’t know of any more plays coming up that I will be in, at the moment, so we will see if one does! If there is one thing I would like to act in it’s Coronation Street.