(David Jays’s article appeared in the Guardian, 1/25.)
Deafenitely Theare was the first company of deaf actors to perform a full-length Shakespeare play, at the Globe in London. In 2012, we were approached to doLove’s Labour’s Lost as part of the Globe to Globe festival, which aimed to celebrate Shakespeare’s plays and perform each of them in a different language. It’s a very difficult play, rarely performed and relatively unknown. There is no existing British sign language translation, and it was difficult to research around it.
I had previously avoided Shakespeare. My education failed me. I considered Shakespeare to be something for academics: I knew the stories, but didn’t have access to the language. Later, as an actor, I played Lavinia in Titus Andronicus at the Bolton Octagon: she has her tongue cut out, so doesn’t say much!