Deafinitely Theatre, in conjunction with Black Country Touring and the Deaf Cultural Centre, is thrilled to be reviving its 2011 production of Gold Dust, written by Andrew Muir and based on the stories of the deaf community in the Black Country and Birmingham. And now they’re being welcomed to Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre by Bloxwich Library Forum on 22 March.
Gold Dust began in 2010 as a joint project between Deafinitely Theatre and Black Country Touring (BCT) and the Deaf Cultural Centre; the challenge: to produce a play based on the real life experiences of deaf people in Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
This play is the culmination of this two-year collaboration during which drama workshops were held with local deaf community groups across the region to elicit stories, characters and ideas for the play. Gold Dust was specifically created out of personal memories of those local deaf people and in particular about the historic Birmingham Jewellery quarter.
This project has given local deaf people an opportunity to access a piece of theatre that is directly relevant to and inspired by their experience of living in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
This unique process was inspirational for writer, Andrew Muir. “There was a great sense of community around this project. We really got a feel for Birmingham deaf culture – everyone had stories to tell, all sorts of people, from people in their late teens to late 80s. From the workshops and interviews, one story in particular emerged about a deaf man who worked in the Jewellery Quarter and his relationship with his son and that’s what the play is based on. But throughout the process and from all the participants, I got an opportunity to truly understand what Birmingham used to be like and specifically how it was for deaf people.”
It’s clear that the work has resonated within the community. Based on feedback received during the first run of the show, many audience members stated that Gold Dust was the first play they had seen.
“Gold Dust really has provided an opportunity for deaf people to enjoy and experience theatre where they would normally face exclusion,” says Paula Garfield, founder and artistic director of Deafinitely Theatre. “Importantly, this is a piece of theatre performed locally and specifically for the deaf community. Currently there is very little deaf theatre in the area and most deaf people have to travel out of the region, for example to London, to access professional theatre performance that speaks from a deaf perspective.”
Produced for the deaf, the piece is also fully accessible to hearing people – meaning the deaf community’s hearing friends, families and peers can share in the performance, further enhancing the community spirit in this production.
The production tours the Midlands from 22 March 2012 and arrives in London on 28 March 2012.
DOWNLOAD the Gold Dust poster for Bloxwich via the following link:
Full tour dates:
Thursday 22 March, doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start – Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre – for tickets costing JUST £2 telephone 01922 655900 or visit Bloxwich Library in Elmore Row.
Friday 23 March, 8pm – Arena Theatre 01902 321321 / www.arena.info
Saturday 24 March, 8.30pm – The Public 0121 533 7161 / www.thepublic.com
Wednesday 28 – Saturday 31 March, 7.30pm – Soho Theatre 0207 478 0100 / www.sohotheatre.com