In October of this year we were privileged to work at the National Theatre Studio on our bilingual version of Macbeth, supported by the New Work department.
The challenging task involved translating sections of Shakespeare’s text into British Sign Language which was then both signed and spoken in performance, as well as having the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth double-cast with deaf and hearing actors. Our four actors fluidly moved between pairs, a quartet, four individuals or three against one, showing physically the inner turmoil and fracturing within these characters and their relationship with each other.
We were excited to share a short work-in-progress performance with an audience of invited guests. We hope to develop this into a full show in 2019/2020.
This project was funded by Arts Council England and supported by New Wolsey Theatre, National Theatre and Poplar Union.
The actors were Stephen Collins, Sophie Stone, Erin Siobhan Hutching and Oliver Alvin Wilson. Non-performing artists were Jennifer K. Bates, Ben Spiller, Brian Duffy, Rachel Sampley, Clare Edwards, Susan Booth. All images by David Monteith-Hodge.
“The best Macbeth I have ever seen” - Deaf actor Jean St Clair
“The switching around between the characters was wonderful and fluid. It was so great to see Deaf and hearing actors working well together rather than being quite separate. A wonderful ensemble ethos.” Stuart Allen, Senior Producer, Derby Theatre