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.
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.
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics
- Ai-Live: Find out 5 ways to fund live captions at your event!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Clarion: BSL/English interpreting and employment services
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- SDHH: Project Development and Consultancy
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- deafPLUS: Money advice line in BSL
- Happy: Microsoft Office courses taught in BSL and SSE by a Deaf trainer – all abilities catered for
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- DCAL: Find out how to study at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, London
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- Sarah Gatford: BSL interpreting, training and consultancy
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people