Deaf and hard of hearing

Sign Integrated performances

All British Sign Language performances at The Watermill are sign integrated. This means that the sign performer(s) is onstage translating alongside the actors. 

Integrating the interpretation takes away the tough choice that BSL users must often make between following the action or following the language. Our sign integrated performances at The Watermill have been pioneering an approach that puts signing at the heart of the action.

Our sign performers are embedded into the performance. Working closely with the cast to emulate the character’s mannerisms and personality they incorporate those elements into the sign translation. The result is two versions of the same character, one speaking and one signing, who interact with each other and the rest of the ensemble as equals. Thanks to these extra relationships and added layers given to the language, we think of these performances as not just sign integrated, but sign enhanced

We believe passionately that by providing sign integrated performances we are offering access creatively and inspiring the next generation of theatre makers who are Deaf. Without seeing theatre, how can an ambition to perform or make theatre blossom? Without watching a broad range of theatre how can you cultivate a taste for what you like, as a theatre consumer? Emerging creative artists can only imagine themselves in an industry they have experienced, and you can only appreciate a production when you can take it in as a whole.

We would be delighted to support other arts organisations and theatres who would like to consult with us about our distinctive approach to sign integration.

You can meet our sign performers here


Watch the video below to learn more about Sign Integrated performances at The Watermill. 



There will be a BSL performance of THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS on Thursday 31 March at 7.30pm and Saturday 2 April at 2.30pm.


Assistance dogs
Assistance dogs are very welcome. Talk to our Box Office team and they will be able to book seats with enough space for both of you.

Hearing assistance system

If you would like to make the onstage sound a little louder, you're welcome to borrow a personal headset that works with or without a hearing aid. You can ask for a headset or loop on the day from the Front of House team.

If you have any questions about accessibility at The Watermill, please contact the Box Office on 01635 46044 or email