Teresa Garratty: Why I loved seeing Deaf-friendly play Finders Keepers at London’s Park Theatre

Posted on April 21, 2017



Last week I actually managed to leave the house and brave the general population, including * shudder * public transport, to catch a spot of theatre.

It’s not everyday one gets to tell others in a pompous manner that they’re “off to the theatre” but on this occasion it was a completely accessible deaf-friendly show, so I told everyone, a lot.

 

It might seem a bit overkill to be this excited but BSL/captioned shows aren’t exactly common place, so when a truly deaf accessible show pops up, you bloody well go to it!

The piece in question is a family friendly show called “Finders Keepers” by Hot Coals Theatre. It’s a comical tale with surprisingly emotive bitter-sweet undertones. It gave me ALL THE FEELS!

There is no spoken dialogue but a variety of wacky sound effects and an energetic soundtrack for those that can hear a thing or two. That’s not to say that sound is necessary to the plot, it’s an extra layer of accessibility, perhaps for those with both auditory and visual impairments. Just another way of Hot Coals letting absolutely everyone know they’re welcome.

The story is told through a variety of cunning visual aids including puppets, physical theatre, caricature costumes, innovative props/set, lighting techniques and hilarious moments of audience engagement. The kids in the audience loved it and there’s even a cheeky joke or two for the grown ups!

Overall, I was hugely impressed with what Hot Coals had delivered through pure visual storytelling and being a film fanatic I couldn’t help but be reminded of clever minimal dialogue films such as Albert Lamorisse’s Le Balloon Rouge, and more recently, Disney’s WALL.E. Two great films that hold your attention by SHOWING you an engaging story, just the same as “Finders Keepers” did for me.

It definitely gets my seal of approval.

The show is running until the 29th April at Park Theatre (London), so if you want to see it, get in there and book those tickets pronto! Ya snooze, ya lose!

Read more of Teresa’s posts (with cartoons!) by clicking here.

Teresa is a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things. Follow her on Twitter as @TGarratty

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