Sign language reinterprets the great Bard at Cast in Doncaster

Joey Hickman in rehearsal
Joey Hickman in rehearsal

An piece of innovative theatre with a take on a famous Shakespeare production will take place on March 2 at Cast Theatre in Doncaster.

The ensemble cast of talented actors will reinterpret the characters from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but using British Sign Language.

Following the success of Cast’s first UK integrated pantomime last Christmas, also with sign language to involve the deaf community, Doncaster’s flagship venue – Cast Theatre – is again bringing innovative performance with Thisbe playing tonight.

The production is billed as a sequel to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring creatively integrated sign language based on familiar Shakesperian characters.

In this production the story begins at a point where Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream left off.

There is a reimagining of the tale of the lovers Helena and Demetrius fourteen years after they got lost in the woods.

Their daughter Thisbe soon discovers that the course of true love never did run smoothly and she finds herself lost in the woods, intoxicated with magic and adventure.

Featuring creatively integrated BSL (British Sign Language) and with an original score, this play is performed by an actor-musician and it is full of playful wit and boisterous theatricality throughout the performance.

The Thisbe producer, Euan Borland, said: “The decision for the whole company to incorporate a creatively integrated British Sign Language show happened organically. Our writer Sam had met our signer Jennifer Wilson on another job and they had really got on very well.”

He added: “Jennifer ended up spending a lot of time in rehearsals with us as the show itself was continually evolving at that stage.

“She began to feel like part of our ensemble cast and we knew we wanted Jennifer to be in every show.”

Euan further added: “Anyone who has seen and enjoyed A Midsummer Night’s Dream will get a kick out of seeing what happens next to these characters.

“But it was important to us that you didn’t need to have seen that play to understand Thisbe. The show should appeal to anyone who enjoys live music, comedy and a good night out.”

Tickets for Thisbe at Cast on Thursday March 2 are £10.50 (£9 concessions) and are available from the box office on 01302 303 959 and at castindoncaster.com website.