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SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETED THEATRE SHOW
  British Council Diversity Website

Contact Details: British Council, Hungary

Diversity Initiative - Sign language interpreted theatre show

Brief background to example of Diversity practice and relationship to the BC rationale:

The British Council in February this year staged the first full sign language interpreted theatre performance in Budapest. 80 deaf and hard of hearing people travelled to Budapest from the countryside, to enjoy an evening in the theatre that was never before available to them. The initiative, which was started by BC in Hungary, gives hard of hearing people an equal opportunity to enjoy art and entertain themselves.

Description of example of Diversity practice

The performance was in one of the most reputed theatres in town and the play itself was a musical titled Black Peter. The project was launched earlier last year, when two sign language interpreters travelled to the UK on a study visit. Sign language interpretation of shows is still very new and almost unknown in Hungary. Most people can’t even imagine how does it work. To close this gap between the regular and the special audience that night, both the staff of the theatre and the regular guests were given a short note about the technical requirements of such a show.

Assessment of impact and lessons learnt (maximum 1 page)

Following the initial ignorance of theatre people, the rehearsal period changed the attitudes of actors and technicians alike. The deaf audience enjoyed the evening and had great fun. However, some of them were seated in the wrong angle to keep an eye on the interpreter. It is important for future events to seat people with special requirements at the right distance and angle. It is also important to chose the right performance – one with not too many lines, a lot of movement and action on stage, and no parallel discussions between actors. (That is impossible to sign interpret simultaneously.) The event created an enormous media interest. Most TV and radio channels reported on the event. During the performance the atmosphere was uplifted and afterwards the actors met the deaf audience and everyone was touched by the beauty and importance of the event.

Is further documentation available on the Diversity practice example?

Yes

 

Contact Details: British Council, Hungary

Diversity Initiative – Domestic Violence Theme - Devised piece theatre

Brief background to example of Diversity practice and relationship to the BC rationale:

Together with International Merlin Theatre, the British Council invited two British directors, Alice Purcell and Alice Power to stage Paperwalls. The play – using the devised piece technique, still very new in Hungary – addresses the issues of domestic violence.

Description of example of Diversity practice

The play went 5 times at Merlin and the British Council organised a special evening for its own contacts – those working in the child and women abuse sector, those assisting help lines, those dealing with the legislatory aspects of this problem. Domestic violence is a very present but unspoken problem in Hungary and the general attitude of people is very outdated and far from being politically correct. With other minority issues getting in the spotlight recently – like the treatment and rights of the roma or elderly people – women’s right organisations are to receive more attention in Hungary.
Two Hungarian and one British actress played the main roles.

Assessment of impact and lessons learnt (maximum 1 page)

The feed-back of the performance was mainly and overwhelmingly good. Both the professional and the general audience liked the technique as well as the interpretation of the performance. We heard of some people walking out of the theatre – but this is a controversial and very emotional play. Everybody had to deal with his/her emotions.

Is further documentation available on the Diversity practice example?

Yes

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