Meet: Robert Softley Gale, co-director of Soho Theatre’s Wendy Hoose, about sexuality and disability

Posted on April 15, 2016

0


Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.11.02

Soho Theatre’s Wendy Hoose has been gaining plaudits from Deaf theatregoers. Here, co-director Robert Softley Gale tells us about creating it.

You’ve directed Wendy Hoose – what inspired you to create it?

Wendy Hoose was my first production for Birds of Paradise so I knew it had to make a big impression. Comedy and disabled actors don’t usually go together so that seemed like a perfect way to go.

We then got together with Random Accomplice, a Scottish touring company renowned for making fantastic comedy, to make this coproduction.

Johnny from RA and I then bounced ideas around for quite a while – I think we both kept pushing the other to “go further”, which resulted in a show that really pushes audiences while making them weep with laughter.

It includes access techniques as part of the narrative – is it fully accessible to a deaf audience, and how have you achieved this?

Part of BOP’s ‘thing’ is to make our work as accessible as possible – so Wendy Hoose incorporates audio description, BSL and captioning into every production.

Without giving too much away, the audio describer is a character that the whole audience hears – she’s much more opinionated than most ADs!

The BSL interpreter appears on a TV screen inside our bedroom – and the captioning is created in the style of texting – with emoticons and other such modern things!

Has the response surprised you?

Yes – in a great way. Audiences just love having a good laugh – at la performance in Stirling two years ago we had 700+ ‘older’ people laughing uproariously for the whole show.

If you’d asked most of them to come as see a show by a disabled theatre company, they’d have run a mile – but after that night they were converted.

Wendy Hoose is at Soho Theatre from 12th April – 7th May 2016.
Tickets from £10: http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/wendy-hoose/

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.

Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.

Find out how to write for us by clicking here, or sign a blog for us by clicking here! Or just email thelimpingchicken@gmail.com.

Make sure you never miss a post by finding out how to follow us, and don’t forget to check out what our supporters  provide:

 

Posted in: interviews