Go See: ‘People of the Eye,’ by The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble, in London tonight and tomorrow

Posted on June 10, 2016

The theatre production People of the Eye, which is accessible to both Deaf and hearing audiences, has received strong reviews and can be seen at the Yard Theatre in London tonight and tomorrow, then in Edinburgh in August.

Tickets can be booked by clicking here.


Reviews so far have been positive, with the play being chosen as a pick of the week in the Guardian. Reviews can also be read in the Huffington Post, Younger Theatre, and East London Lines.

The play is inspired by the story of writer Erin Siobhan Hutching’s family, who had never met a deaf person before when her sister was diagnosed in 1983.

Struggling to get a diagnosis from dubious doctors and then receiving conflicting advice from experts about whether to use sign language, the family found their own way through the Deaf world.

The poignant, often humorous, production focuses on memories, feelings of isolation and how we find the joy in difference.

Erin also drew on the experiences of others in the international Deaf community, particularly other members of the theatre company The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble.DMH_4020

The performance is accessible to both Deaf and hearing audiences through the use of projections, sound, live performance and creative accessibility (BSL, spoken English and creative. captioning).

The video projections are created by award winning Deaf filmmaker Samuel Dore, working in tandem with Emma Houston’s soundscape to bring a new layer to the piece.

The piece was originally devised with deaf actress Sophie Stone and performed in work in progress versions at venues including The Roundhouse and Forest Fringe in 2015.

With the Arts Council supporting The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble to produce a full production for The Yard Theatre’s NOW’16 Festival, the team has expanded to more than ten Deaf and hearing artists.

Performances featuring Emily Howlett at The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick, London

7-11th June, 7.30pm in a double bill with Break Yourself by Ira Brand (BSL interpreted)

Performances featuring Sophie Stone at Summerhall Edinburgh Fringe Festival (with Northern Stage’s program)

6th -27th August, 1pm (except Wednesdays)

Erin Siobhan Hutching, Writer/Performer, told us:

This story is inspired by my family, but it’s not a documentary – I do show real footage of my childhood in the 80s, but there are many other people’s stories who also influenced the play.

I grew up using sign language with my sister (in New Zealand) but I haven’t used as part of my theatre performances until now.

I’m honoured that The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble, The Yard Theatre and so many talented artists are interested in being part of this production.

I strongly believe that high quality theatre should be created for Deaf and hearing audiences on an equal basis, and I tried to do that from the very beginning rather than adding on some captions or a sign language interpreter at the end.

The BSL, captions and projected video are such an important part of the play that it couldn’t exist without them.

I believe this is a show everyone can relate to in some way – the themes of childhood memories, sibling relationships and parental responsibility are universal.

Tickets can be booked at this link: http://www.theyardtheatre.co.uk/event/now16week-5/2016-06-07/

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