Elisabeth McDermott: Incloodu – a visual, musical, artistic and creative experience

Posted on November 15, 2013

I was invited along to the Incloodu Deaf Arts Festival, which was held on Saturday 9th November at RichMix on Bethnal Green Road – and along I went!

Having missed an opportunity to go to the French Clin D’Oeil Deaf Arts Festival (I will get there one day), I thought I couldn’t miss this.

The venue is in a great location. I almost settled down in London in nearby Dalston but discovered that London life was just far too expensive (literally – I read somewhere that it is nigh on impossible for new people moving into the city to make it…which is a shame as London used to be the place for young people to live their dream). Anyway, I digress.

I arrived in the pouring rain having walked from Bethnal Green tube as for one, I fancied the walk (before I realised the rain was that bad) and secondly, I believe the Overground to Shoreditch High Street was closed temporarily. Anyhow, I was in great spirits when I arrived.

I met my good friend Heidi Fitch and her gorgeous little boy Ethan, who to everyone’s delight, was a great source of amusement, inspiration and much laughter when he danced and air-drummed along to the fantastic drumming duo, Nao Masuda and Xavier Boulanger on Japanese drums, cue much video-ing of my friend’s cute little boy. I look forward to seeing the official Incloodu film!


We then ventured upstairs via the lift (part of the great accessibility for all) and bumped directly into another good friend Jen, and walked along to find Funky Faces where Jen’s partner, and mine and Heidi’s good friend Lou Cox, paints the most extraordinary and fantastic patterns, shapes, animals, and superheroes on kid’s faces, cue much delight, clapping of hands and smiles for parents and kids alike! Lou was very much in demand so we left her to focus on what she loves, interacting with children and doing her art.

We were drawn into the inspirational and visual schematics of Handprint Theatre who I had seen in Guernsey 2 years ago doing “Soapy Sam” and it was great to catch up with them face-to-face and to see their show on stage, and to participate in their workshop. I also signed up to stay up to date with Deafinitely Theatre’s emailing page as being out of the country, I really missed seeing all the great stuff going on in the world of Deaf Art, Culture, Theatre.

I was particularly moved by Jayne Fletcher’s song interpretations in sign and really thought the first song was her own. That’s how good her emotional and visual interpretation was. I would have liked to have seen more of Fletch’s performances had I stayed for the evening performance. Definitely one to watch and follow.

Heidi loved learning Def Motion’s Michael Jackson moves and their interpretation of Thriller on stage was awesome. Rickoo did well filling in the gaps with funny stories about America with an unscheduled delay for Def Motions. It was with some disappointment that their act was cut short on stage but they by far made up for it during their workshop which had some new dancers going and going and going. Even Ethan had a go! Perhaps new recruits for Def Motion and future shows?

There was much confusion for many Deaf festival-goers when we had to join in a workshop and stand on a corner of the carpet and choose a sound to make…you could see and feel the confusion and the conversations going around “Do they realise we’re deaf?”…but in actual fact, it turned out to be a really energetic noise-making workshop and the cacophony was loved by all, hearing and D/deaf alike. I was thoroughly energised and so were the children. Great stuff!

Alas, I was unable to stay for the late show and party having made other plans that evening but I will endeavour to attend Incloodu’s next big event and party all night!

Well done and a big thumbs up to everyone who made Incloodu what it was. I loved it.

Elisabeth (Lizzie) is a 34-year old profoundly deaf physiotherapist from Leeds-Glasgow-Guernsey-London with a keen interest in Deaf Sports (physio for GBDWF, European Deaf Championships, Bulgaria, 2011) and Women’s Health (mostly pregnant women:) She is working in London from September 2013 and aims to get involved with Deaf Sports more. Lizzie enjoys travelling, snowboarding and spending quality time with friends and family.



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