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Pulse 2012: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Love’s Labour’s Lost
PULSE FESTIVAL – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich
St. Georges St, IP1 3NF – Sat 26 May 2pm
Tickets £8 – www.pulsefringe.com – 01473 295900

Deafinitely Theatre is marking its tenth anniversary with some real landmark events in Deaf theatre. Among the most exciting is Deafinitely Theatre’s debut at Shakespeare’s Globe as part of The World Shakespeare Festival.
Paula Garfield, company founder, artistic director and director of Love’s Labour’s Lost is thrilled with this unique challenge. “This production is a rare feast, a landmark first: a BSL-led, Deaf-devised, full Shakespeare play for the very first time at the Globe or indeed anywhere in the world on the 22nd and 23rd of May 2012 with a national tour following.”
Part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the Globe to Globe Shakespeare Festival, which is one piece of the World Shakespeare Festival at the Globe, is presenting all of Shakespeare’s plays, each in one of 37 different languages. Deafinitely Theatre will be mounting a British Sign Language production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. A story of love and loyalty, Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost is amongst his best known and, according to many, least understood plays. But Garfield doesn’t believe it is a “problem play” as it is often labeled.
“Shakespeare, in this play specifically, relies heavily on wordplay and inverted meaning, incorporating innuendo and pun, and our challenge [has been] to be faithful to that intention whilst being true to British Sign Language… [But] most importantly, universally, anyone who is a Shakespeare fan, be they deaf or hearing, will take away something entirely new from this production.”
Deafinitely Theatre creates productions in British Sign Language (BSL) and English, which can be understood by everyone and yet retain BSL as the leading language throughout, on and off stage. To fit in with the World Shakespeare Festival’s criteria, however, this production will be entirely in BSL. But by stripping back the very dense and punny text of Love’s Labour’s Lost and translating it into the physical language of BSL, the theatre argues that this production will be much more accessible to theatre goers of all ages and backgrounds including students and people for whom English is a second language.
For actor, Stephen Collins, this production has been the chance of a lifetime. “His plays have been translated so many times by different people but yet his plays still feel fresh, original and current. They are great stories… I think for every actor, you want to do at least one of his plays in your lifetime.” It’s Stephen’s third time at the New Wolsey in two years having performed in both the Iron Man show last year for NNFEST and in this year’s nationwide hit, Reasons 2 Be Cheerful. He’s thrilled to be making a return to Ipswich for another show as he’s found the Ipswich audiences “very responsive and warm”.
For the purpose of our tour, this uniquely physical style of theatre will also include both a fully comprehensive written synopsis and a narrated English explanation before each act. But even more importantly, Deafinitely believes that in translating the text into BSL and using live musicians to further bring the story to life, both the company and its audiences will have the chance to experience the freshness of Shakespeare’s physical storytelling, his humour, pacing and visual impact, without getting mired in the text itself. The themes of the piece are timeless; a story which finds the lighter side of love, loss, betrayal and loyaty couldn’t be more contemporary.
Tour Dates:
PULSE FESTIVAL – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich
St. Georges St, IP1 3NF – Sat 26 May 2pm
Tickets £8 – www.pulsefringe.com – 01473 295900

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