Lady Macbeth reimagined for Deaf audiences

Lady Macbeth - Unsex Me Here

Solar Bear’s co-production with Company Chordelia of Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here was a unique production in many ways.

The work, which re-imagines Lady Macbeth’s journey as her story recedes into the background in Shakespeare’s play, not only worked with both D/deaf and hearing performers, seamlessly weaving British Sign Language into the choreography of the dance/theatre piece - it also aimed to allow D/deaf audience members to have a similar experience to the hearing audience, with a production that supported both audiences as they hear the music and text woven through the sound track.  

Reaching new audiences was paramount to both partners. The two companies – one specialising in inclusive and accessible theatre, the other a cutting-edge dance company - each aimed to reach new audiences that were outside their own ‘typical’ audience group. In doing so, the partners were able to offer audiences something new to their theatre going experience and to consider how the arts, right across the spectrum, could be accessible and engaging for them.

The partners also sought to explore how D/deaf and hearing artists would work together with minimal input from BSL Interpreters, when it was or was not appropriate to do so, and how this may impact on the D/deaf artists’ engagement and creative input to the development process.

Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me toured Scotland before travelling to Oxford in 2016. Due to the subsequent public interest, the show is set to return in August 2017 as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – potentially bringing this unique collaboration to an even wider audience.

This article was published on 30 Mar 2016