Actress Abigail Poulton is currently starring in Deafinitely Theatre’s version of Contractions by Mike Barlett, a bilingual production including both spoken English and BSL. We had a chat with Abigail to get some further insight into the process of creaing the show.
What is the importance of presenting work with BSL in today’s society?
It’s essential in highlighting the need for greater access in the arts across all mediums. A wake-up call to those that have never been in touch with the Deaf World.
What challenges has the site-specific nature of the production thrown up?
I know there have been some challenges in regards to the new ND2 site-specific space – It is huge and the sound bounces around the atrium in a sporadic manner, with this in mind we explored if I were to have a microphone and our amazing technical team (Chris, Paul and Joe) worked tirelessly designing the performance and audience spaces for maximum affect. As the space is huge and the play is incredibly intimate we discussed ways to keep that intimacy despite the sheer scale of the performance area.
What advice would you give companies and individuals wanting to work in a more accessible way
DO IT. Have it as a staple when creating art, you should be asking yourself is it accessible as well as artistic in the creation stages.
What do you want the audience to take away from the performance?
Above all, I would like the audience to leave with a new or greater appreciation for British Sign Language and its place in the world as a Language as well as its place on stage and screen. The want to see more Deaf-inspired and accessible theatre and to see more Deaf talent in the mainstream media.