Norfolk Summer Deaf Festival Shakespeares Globe


Oh hello! Hang on, just give me a second. This video is so interesting! You know Shakespeare wrote a play called Hamlet? Well, this clip explains the story and who the characters are in British Sign Language. You may be wondering how the video came about, I’ll explain. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London wanted to make Shakespeare’s works accessible to deaf people but… …they knew some British Sign Language (BSL) users found the English confusing. The staff at the theatre thought long and hard about how to best to ensure deaf people could enjoy Shakespeare… …and soon realised they needed the deaf community to help. They had to find native British Sign Language users who had theatre experience, were skilled in translation and passionate about Shakespeare… Luckily they came across Deafinitely Theatre, the UK’s first Deaf lead professional Theatre company. After a meeting between The Globe and Deafinitely Theatre they agreed they would aim to… …put on the first production on the Globe’s stage which had deaf actors using British Sign Language. They also set out to produce a range of BSL clips which explained Shakespeare’s plays. Next came the challenging task of translating Shakespeare’s English to BSL. Would you like to learn more about this exciting venture? If so, you are in luck! On Saturday the 25th of May Norfolk Summer Deaf Festival will have two workshops with special guests who will tell us all about it. There will be four expert presenters: Paula Garfield, who is the Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Access Manager David Bellwood, Filmmaker and photographer Richard Gravett and Dr. Duncan Large who is an Academic Director for the British Centre of Translation at UEA. If you would like to attend either of these workshops you can find details of how to book free tickets via Eventbrite in the comments. These sessions are suitable for everyone as there will be BSL/English interpreters there to allow everybody to included. I have just realised, there are only two weeks to go, I have to prepare, so off you go!

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