Press Release - People of the Eye, The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble, The Yard Theatre NOW16 7-11 June


Press Release                                                       

The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble with Erin Siobhan Hutching present

People of the Eye at NOW’16 FESTIVAL The Yard Theatre

7th—11th June 7.30pm, in double bill with Ira Brand Break Yourself at 9pm

A personal story about parents, sisters and the love that binds families together created for Deaf and hearing audiences on an equal basis

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Inspired by real events, this poignant new performance uses projections, sound, live performance and creative accessibility (BSL, spoken English and captioning) to tell the story of a family navigating their way through the Deaf world, focusing on memories, feelings of isolation and how we find the joy in difference.

People of the Eye tells 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 had to find their own way through the Deaf world. Erin also drew on the experiences of others in the international Deaf community, particularly other Ensemble members, when writing the show.

Writer/performer Erin Siobhan Hutching, who co-starred in the 2013 UK tour of performance artist La JohnJoseph’s autobiographical “clusterfuck of sex, class, religion, gender, identity and ideology" Boy In A Dress, which inspired her to tell the story of her own unusual background, says:

“I wanted to create a piece which celebrates the beauty of sign language and Deaf culture, while not shying away from the complex idea of culture versus disability. It’s important to me to tell the story of both Deaf and hearing members of the family, and the contributions of the Deaf artists in the Ensemble have been invaluable in that respect. It’s a joyful, fun show, with lots of humour, but it tackles something we are all passionate about. We play with a mix of theatrical conventions including audience participation, physical theatre, direct address and video projections which visually represent sound, always striving to make accessibility part of the aesthetic instead of a tag-on. This is a show everyone can relate to in some way – the themes of childhood memories, sibling relationships and parental responsibility are universal.”

The Yard Theatre, voted #2 Theatre in London by Time Out readers, has chosen this piece out of over 200 hundred applications to perform in a double bill with award-winning theatre maker Ira Brand.

“Selected from hundreds of ideas received through open submissions, we’ve partnered five of the brightest new voices with five of the most inspiring and influential artists of today to form week long double-bills of daring and unapologetically new live performances.” The Yard Theatre

The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble encourage a shared experience for Deaf and hearing audiences. Formed in 2013, they are comprised of talented Deaf & Hearing artists, each with an equal voice. They were founded out of a week-long project with the Royal Shakespeare Company, looking at the relationship between Shakespeare’s language and Visual Vernacular/BSL, and has retained a strong relationship with the company. They were Forest Fringe Company in Residence in 2013 and performed at Forest Fringe and Northern Stage's Bloody Great Border Ballad Project, which won the Spirit of the Festival Award. They have performed at Pulse Festival, Forest Fringe, Shuffle Festival, Northern Stage and The Roundhouse. They were commissioned this year to create a new piece for Liberty Festival. This piece is being taken to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

People of the Eye is directed by Ensemble founder Jennifer K. Bates, who lead Solar Bear Theatre Company’s Deaf Youth Theatre for 4 years exploring this unique way of working and making theatre. Parts of the piece were devised with Ensemble member Sophie Stone, who has recently starred as Cass (a strong Deaf character) in two episodes of the TV series Doctor Who. Emily Howlett, founder of PAD Productions (Positive About Deafness), will perform alongside Erin Siobhan Hutching at The Yard.

Ensemble member Nadia Nadarajah, who was recently nominated for an Off-West End award, will provide support with movement and BSL. Award winning Deaf filmmaker Samuel Dore will be creating the video projections. The set is being designed by Wildworks Associate designer Myriddin Wannell.

People of the Eye is supported by The Yard Theatre and using public funding by Arts Council England.

This piece is accessible to D/deaf and hearing audiences through the use of British Sign Language, Spoken English and creative captioning.

Listings Information

7th-11th June at The Yard Theatre, Unit 2a Queen’s Yard, London E9 5EN

People of the Eye, The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble with Erin Siobhan Hutching, 7.30pm

Break Yourself, Ira Brand, 9pm

Tickets £12 for both shows (multi-buy prices available to attend two or more nights of the 5 week festival)

Available from  | @dh_ensemble| @people_oftheeye   | @erinsiobhanh| @YardTheatre

For further press enquiries, requests for tickets, interview or picture requests contact:

Erin Hutching, The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble -

Click to Download the PDF of this Press Release. For a Word version, please contact Erin on the details above.