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Four Deaf actors come together on Zoom to each share a monologue in British Sign Language reflecting on the recent shifts in our culture.
Featuring Nadia Nadarajah (As You Like It, Shakespeare’s Globe), Ilan Dwek (Small World, BSL Zone), Fifi Garfield (Our Country's Good, Ramps on the Moon) and Nadeem Islam (Horrible Histories: The Dreadful Deaf, Deafinitely Theatre).
The evening is directed by Jennifer K. Bates from The DH Ensemble, with sign performance support from Ana Becker (A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Prince and The Pauper, both The Watermill) and Fliss Becker (The Prince and the Pauper; Macbeth, both The Watermill).
If you aren’t familiar with BSL, or if you’re interested in a backstage insight, ahead of the performance is an opportunity to enjoy a pre-show introduction to some of the signs you’re about to see.
The workshop and performance will both be presented in BSL with a spoken English voiceover so Deaf and hearing audience members will all get the full experience.
We are proud to partner with The DH Ensemble, a professional Deaf and hearing led theatre company, to celebrate Sign Language Week.
Suitable for 11+ to adults.
Date: Thursday 18 March
Pre-show introduction: 4.30pm – 5pm
Performance: 5pm – 6pm
Price: Free, we welcome donations if you can contribute.
If you are interested in using British Sign Language on stage join us for Sign Up, an online workshop, and get a taste for yourself.
Join the conversation. If you are Deaf or use BSL The Watermill are proud to host Deaf Theatre Lovers an online chat to help shape what we offer in the future.
Director Jennifer K Bates
Stage Manager Harri McKenzie-Donovan
Ilan has been an actor since the early 1990s on stage and screen, presenting a range of theatre from Shakespeare and Pinter to contemporary and deaf-related focused theatre. Ilan has used Forum Theatre (Theatre of the Oppressed) techniques to explore not only deafness, but also mental health, employment issues and wider social topics. From around 2012, Ilan focus turned to teaching and facilitating drama workshops, especially within the University of Reading on their former Theatre Arts Education Deaf Studies degree course. Being a teacher of British Sign Language since 2003, Ilan has the experience of BSL monitoring of drama performances as well and has worked at The Watermill several times as the BSL Sign Integration Consultant.
Fifi Garfield made her first acting debut when she was 19 years old in amateur group called London Deaf Drama Group and continued for another 25 years! She got her first professional part in London Bubble directed by Adrian Jackson called ‘Emma’ touring around UK in 1994. Since then she has appeared in over 20 TV and theatre productions. During her 25 plus years in acting career, Fifi has worked with Bill Nighy, Jenny Éclair, Joe Absolom, and many more. Fifi is a freelance in creative media covering from cameraperson, editor, directing, translating (from English to BSL) and not forgetting acting as well!
Theatre credits include: Horrible Histories: The Dreadful Deaf, Contractions, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Deafinitely Theatre); Our Country’s Good (Ramps on the Moon); Emma (The London Bubble).
TV and Radio credits include: Deaf Funny (Juggle Production); See Hear, Don’t Leave Me This Way, Switch (BBC); All Fingers and Thumbs (BBC Radio 4)
Rehearsed Reading, Commercial, Interpreting and Presenting credits include: Women of the World (Performing Interpreting); Contractions (Bush Theatre); Macbeth (RSC); Smirnoff (Bold Company); BT Bringing People Together (Tomboy).
Nadeem Islam trained in Community Art Practice at BRIT School. He is currently shooting a new series of The Bay for ITV. He is also well known as a presenter for See Hear: On Tour (BBC) and Small World (Mutt and Jeff Pictures). Screen credits also include Here/Not Here (Artemisia) and Where I belong (BSL Zone), which he was nominated for Best Actor in the Deaffest UK Deaf Film/TV Awards.
Theatre credits include: Oliver Twist (Ramps on the Moon); Iron Man (Graeae); Blasted (Graeae/RADA), Horrible Histories: The Dreadful Deaf (Birmingham Stage Company/Deafinitely Theatre); Moonbird (Handprint Theatre/Edinburgh Theatre); Something Else (Deafinitely Theatre) and Up N Under (Fingersmiths).
Nadia trained at the International Visual Theatre in Paris.
Theatre credits include: A Christmas Carol (Leeds Playhouse), The Invisible Summer (Workshop), Midnight Movie (Royal Court, London), Going Through (Bush Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Bristol Old Vic), As You Like It & Hamlet (Shakespeare’s Globe), Our Town (Royal Exchange Manchester), The House of Bernarda Alba (Royal Exchange Manchester), Untouchable (RADA Festival), Can I Start Again Please (UK Tour), Notre Dame (National Theatre); Grounded (Deafinitely Theatre at Park Theatre); Windibops (UK Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Tyrannosaurus Drip (Stratford Circus), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare’s Globe), Tanika’s Journey, Invisible (Deafinitely Theatre); Girls and Dolls (Southwark Playhouse); Deafhood (Bristol Old Vic); I Believe in Unicorn (Brighton Festival) and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Little Angel Theatre).
TV and film credits include: Eastenders (BBC), Dot's Legacy, The Hub, Snapshot: Dicing with Sex and Wicked (series 2 & 3), Night Deviant (Film), Dots Legacy (Film), Vox Furex (Short Film), Domestic Abuse Towards Men (Short Film), I See You (Online Film), Before The Flame Goes Out (Online Film), Sonnet 30 and All Day.
Commercial credits include: Cisco and Compton Care.
Ana is a fully qualified BSL interpreter with a background in theatre. She studied sign theatre at the University of Reading and has been woking as a stage manager since 2012. Ana delved back into sign theatre at The Watermill, translating Twelfth Night in 2017 and has worked on productions every year since up until The Prince and The Pauper in 2019. She also sign interprets and integrates professional productions both locally and in London.
Fliss is a registered sign language interpreter and completed her degree in Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies at the University of Reading in 2008. She has been a keen observer of integrated signed performances, particularly at The Watermill and is extremely excited to be involved in this performance. She draws on both BSL and Visual Vernacular to create an artistic interpretation on stage. Fliss' first integrated performance was Macbeth in 2019 and joined the sign performer team in other productions including The Prince and The Pauper.