Award-winning playwright creates play for Deaf actress Sophie Stone

Posted on August 25, 2014



Kaite O’Reilly, an award-winning playwright, has created a new play for Deaf actress, Sophie Stone.

The play, called Woman of Flowers, is produced by acclaimed theatre company Forest Forge, embarks on a UK tour this September and is an innovative retelling of an ancient Welsh tale.

Sophie Stone

Sophie Stone

The play will star Deaf actress Sophie Stone, the first ever Deaf student to win a place at RADA.

Kaite O’Reilly wrote the part of Rose specially for Sophie after working with her on In Water I’m Weightless, a Cultural Olympiad commission in 2012.

A story of desire, duty, deceit and revenge, Woman of Flowers explores the lengths someone will go to in order to escape the life chosen for them.

The production features live music, dance, video, surtitles throughout and sections of theatricalised sign created in a collaboration between Kaite O’Reilly, Sophie Stone and BSL expert and visual language director Jean St Clair.

Synopsis:

Rose cannot remember what came before the house at the edge of the isolated forest. Gwynne says he magicked her out of the flowers, but she’s not so sure. She plays the part of the perfect farmer’s wife for Lewis, who is kept firmly in place by his uncle Gwynne, and accepts her lonely existence, but when a captivating stranger is seen in the forest, Rose must decide on where her future really lies.

Kaite O’Reilly is a prolific multi-award winning writer whose work has been extensively performed in the UK and internationally.

She was the first playwright to be awarded the hugely prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Works (for her new version of Aeschylus’s Persians for National Theatre Wales) and received three commissions from the Cultural Olympiad.

Kaite is a veteran of the Disability Rights Movement and has worked extensively within Disability Arts and Culture for over twenty years. She is also a Patron both of DaDa (Disability Arts Deaf Arts) and of Disability Arts Cymru.

She said:

“Inspired by the ancient Welsh treasure, The Mabinogion, and the myth of the ‘ideal woman’ created out of flowers, I wanted to plait together a domestic drama with intervals of heightened poetic theatricality, exploring different forms of storytelling, creating a world out of both spoken and signed language, between Deaf and hearing cultures. Woman of Flowers represents a culmination of a long process of bringing together accessible theatre with a Deaf culture aesthetic.”

Woman Of Flowers is suitable for people aged over 12 years old and opens on Thursday 18th September at Hanger Farm Arts Centre before embarking on a tour around Southern England and Wales.

For more information, go to: www.forestforge.co.uk

Full touring dates:
Thursday 18th September, Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Totton
Friday 19th September, Forest Arts, New Milton
Saturday 20th September, The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham
Monday 22-Wednesday 24th September, Pleasance Theatre, Islington
Thursday 25th-27th September, Cheltenham Everyman (including matinee on Saturday 27th as well as evening show)
Tuesday 30th September – Saturday 4th October, The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter
Tuesday 7th October, Salisbury Arts Centre
Tuesday 14th October, Quay Arts, Isle of Wight
Wednesday 15th October, Brixham Theatre, Devon
Saturday 18th October, West Stafford Village Hall, Dorset
Tuesday 21st October, Ibsley Village Hall, Hampshire
Thursday 23rd October, Lighthouse Poole’s Centre for the Arts (BSL interpreted show)
Friday 24th October, Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset
Saturday 25th October, Dorchester Arts Centre, Dorset
Tuesday 28th October, Mere Lecture Hall, Wiltshire
Wednesday 29th October, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales
Thursday 30th October, The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant
Saturday 1st November, Greyfriars Community Centre, Ringwood

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