Watch: Departure Lounge, a moving drama about Deaf friendship in hospital

Posted on July 17, 2014

This week, on digital TV and online, the BSL Zone is showing Departure Lounge, an award-winning half hour drama about the friendship between two Deaf men in hospital, who turn to one another when their lives are in crisis.

The drama, which was made in 2009, was directed by Louis Neethling, and written by this site’s editor, Charlie Swinbourne. Charlie writes:

The idea for Departure Lounge came when I was taking part in Deafinitely Theatre’s scheme for new writers.

I had the idea that two men could be on stage, and the stage would look like a hospital rooftop. One man would be in a wheelchair, and up there, they’d talk about their lives and try to make sense of things.


One of them would be a man who was still smoking, even though he was in hospital!

A couple of years later, I was asked if I had any ideas by producer David Horbury, who was working with Mutt and Jeff Pictures at the time.

One of the ideas I put forward was Departure Lounge, and although the characters and the story changed as I wrote various drafts, those scenes on top of the hospital roof remained in the final film.

I was very pleased with how Louis Neethling directed the film, and also with the performance of the four lead actors – Hal Draper, David Sands, Abigail Gorman and Patsy Palmer.

Since then, Hal Draper has passed away and for me, this film is now a reminder of just how talented he was, and how well he could get into a character.

Watch Departure Lounge in full, online, by clicking here: or tune in to watch it on the Community Channel at 7.30pm tonight or at 7.30am on Saturday morning.



The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. 

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