Actor with Achill connections lands role in BBC drama series

Storme Toolis plays law student in police detective series ‘New Tricks’

Storme Toolis: “Being in a wheelchair defines who I am now and I fully embrace it. It made me more determined to succeed.”

Storme Toolis: “Being in a wheelchair defines who I am now and I fully embrace it. It made me more determined to succeed.”

Thu, Aug 22, 2013, 07:04

A 20-year-old actor whose family is from Achill Island in Mayo has landed a main role in BBC TV’s New Tricks drama series and is making her first appearance next Tuesday.

Storme Toolis plays Holly, a law student, in the popular drama series about veteran police detectives who reopen cold cases.

Holly is the daughter of Det Danny Griffin (Nicholas Lyndhurst) who solves the crimes which her father then pretends to solve himself.

What makes this different is that Toolis has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Her character in the series is feisty, clever and very sexy.

Toolis, who has always been concerned about the sort of parts she may get offered and struggles to be taken as a serious actor, says her part in a sex scene in this series on mainstream TV may be one of the first with a young disabled person. “It’s better than being cast as a hospital patient,” she says. “It wasn’t awkward and we had great fun doing it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

She is now studying English literature and drama in Canterbury and plans eventually to become a drama teacher, “but I intend to explore acting as far as it will get me”.

Called Storme “because I was born in a storm”, she has already attracted attention for her part in the British comedy The Inbetweeners movie on E4 shot in Majorca two years ago.

“Though I struggled at school, being in a wheelchair defines who I am now and I fully embrace it,” she said.

“It made me more determined to succeed. It’s so nice to be empowered and encouraged and if that [success] encourages even one other person, it would be great.”