Channel 4 announces new drama starring deaf actress Genevieve Barr

Barr previously gained recognition for her portrayal of a deaf teenager in 2010 drama The Silence.
Barr previously gained recognition for her portrayal of a deaf teenager in 2010 drama The Silence.

A new drama, described as a “love letter to being deaf” and starring writer and actress Genevieve Barr, has been announced by Channel 4.

Barr, 36, was born deaf and gained recognition for her role in 2010 drama The Silence, which follows a deaf teenager who witnesses a police officer’s murder.

In new mystery thriller I.D., created by Barr, the drama centres on Emily, a young deaf woman who sees a neighbour taking pictures of her.

Genevieve Barr
Barr previously starred as 18-year-old Amelia Edwards in BBC drama The Silence (PA)

The incident leads Emily, played by Barr, to explore what she might have done to warrant this unwanted attention, while also beginning a dance with a stranger that is as exciting as it is dangerous.

I.D. is a love letter to being deaf and places Emily on course for a hair-raising collision with her past, Channel 4 said.

The eight-episode series is produced by Eleven, the production company behind a number of popular shows including Sex Education and Glue.

Barr said: “I.D. is a journey into who we are and how people view us.

“Eleven gave it a home when I was starting out and I’m delighted we’ve found it a broadcaster with Channel 4, who are pathfinders in fearless and inclusive storytelling.

“It is a privilege to be living and breathing this deaf-led series with this team.”

Head of drama at Channel 4, Caroline Hollick, added: “I.D. is both a universal story of self-discovery and the tale of a young woman’s relationship with her deafness, wrapped up in a delightfully moreish mystery.

“It will be such a privilege to have Genevieve’s unique and compelling vision on our channel.”

I.D. is executive produced by Bafta award-winning writer Jack Thorne, who worked with Barr on The Accident, The Fades and theatre production The Solid Life Of Sugar Water.

Barr has also worked with confectionary giant Mars, starring in an advert for Maltesers as part of a campaign celebrating diversity.

It was the first UK advert to be aired solely in British Sign Language with captions.