Ex-basketball star centre stage again

Have your say

A chance email that arrived on the day he quit his job launched Jordan Bright in his new career as an actor.

Jordan, who is currently playing Roly in Love Your Soldiers at the Crucible Studio, got the chance because director Richard Wilson wanted to cast someone who had lost his legs in the role.

Roly is a soldier injured by an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan and the play also shows his time in rehabilitation in hospital.

Jordan said: “I played wheelchair basketball professionally from the age of 16. I decided to quit as I didn’t really enjoy playing any more and practising six days a week.

“On the same day I quit, I got an email forwarded from the team manager which came from Richard Wilson, asking for amputees to have a go at acting. I’ve got no acting experience but as I’d just quit my job I thought I’d give it a go, more for the experience than anything.”

Jordan lost his legs when he was 11 and a novice driver lost control of his car and pinned him against a wall.

In the play, Roly spends time in hospital in Birmingham, which brought back memories for Jordan of being treated in the same city. He doesn’t remember feeling really down about losing his legs and says that it was worse for his parents, having to watch him being seriously ill and in pain.

“For some reason I don’t dwell on it. I don’t know why. I think it was down to my age.

“It’s the teenage years when it hits you, with all your friends doing stuff and you’re on crutches with rubbish legs.”

Jordan uses prosthetic legs but is in a wheelchair at the moment. He’s waiting to go to Oklahoma to have new legs made as he had an infection where his legs fit into the sockets.

Jordan is full of praise for Richard Wilson. He said: “He has been amazing, really generous with his time. He has been really positive, which is the main thing I like about him”

Love Your Soldiers is at the Crucible Studio until November 23. Box office: call 0114 249 6000 or go online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk