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The BBC casts deaf actress in lead role

An untried deaf actress has been handed the lead role in in a primetime BBC thriller.

Genevieve Barr will play deaf teenager Amelia Edwards, who witnesses a murder while staying with relatives in a new BBC1 fourpart series called The Silence. It is her first major role, which she won while on the Teach First training scheme, teaching in a challenging inner London school.

Last night Genevieve said: "The Silence is a fantastic opportunity to explore life through a deaf person's eyes and I am thrilled to have been offered the role.

"I have my hands full with Amelia! I have had my first day of filming and it was exhausting but amazing playing my first scenes opposite Gina McKee, who plays my mother."

Genevieve, 23, will be surrounded by an experienced cast for the production, including acclaimed actor Douglas Henshall, McKee and Hugh Bonneville.

By Mark Jefferies BBC