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Deafinitely Theatre and Birmingham Stage Company to create Horrible Histories show for D/deaf children

Horrible Histories – Dreadful Deaf will be a collaboration between Deafinitely Theatre and Birmingham Stage Company
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Deafinitely Theatre has teamed up with Birmingham Stage Company to produce the first Horrible Histories show specifically for D/deaf children and their families.

Birmingham Stage Company, which produces all Horrible Histories stage shows, will work with D/deaf-led Deafinitely to premiere a new show that will be performed in spoken English and British Sign Language.

Horrible Histories – Dreadful Deaf will play a school’s performance at Heathlands School in St Albans before opening at the Bristol Old Vic on May 29. It will then tour to York Theatre Royal, the North Wall in Oxford and Derby Theatre.

Deafinitely artistic director Paula Garfield, who will also direct the production, said: “A few years ago I watched my D/deaf children reading and enjoying Horrible Histories and I was struck by the thought that it would be wonderful for them to have a ‘Deaf Horrible Histories’, showcasing the stories, culture and communities of D/deaf people throughout history. I also wanted to ensure that deaf children today, whether signing or non-signing, can understand the history of their community and feel a sense of belonging and legacy.”

The show will have music and sound by Chris Bartholomew, design by Paul Burgess and lighting by Joe Hornsby.

Neal Foster, actor-manager of Birmingham Stage Company, added: “One of the joys of creating Horrible Histories stage shows is going through the learning experience yourself, so not only did I think this was a fantastic idea for a show, but I was also excited to learn the history of deaf people through the lens of Horrible Histories.

“It’s proved to be as exciting as I first imagined and we can’t wait to share the show with deaf and hearing people – it’s a fascinating subject for theatre.”

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