Sign language takes centre stage

The Lyric Theatre has announced that it will be engaging with the deaf community on a number of exciting initiatives.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 11:44 am
L-R Amanda Coogan, Jimmy Fay, Paula Clarke, Jane O'Brien

The initiatives include committing to a sign language performance of every Lyric produced show, an exciting devised piece by deaf artists and a workshop to inform accessibility policy and planning for the Lyric Theatre.

In addition, the Lyric has been successful on securing funding from the Department for Communities to provide British and Irish sign language versions of Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Dramas, a collection of five minute theatrical pieces exploring life in lockdown, originally broadcast on the BBC in June 2020. The dramas will be interpreted by British and Irish sign language interpreters Amanda Coogan and Kristina Laverty, and are now available on the Lyric Theatre website.

The funding has also supported an exciting explorative project with deaf artists Jane O’Brien and Paula Clarke facilitated by Amanda Coogan named The Naked Hands.

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The piece, which has been devised in the Lyric Theatre over the past month, is a potted history of the formation of deaf community in Northern Ireland through the eyes of our intrepid time travellers Paula Clarke and Jane O’Brien.

Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer at the Lyric, said: “Accessibility to the arts is a human right and the Lyric Theatre has this commitment at the forefront of our re-opening strategy.  We are delighted to be able to offer signed performances for our shows and are committed to engage with the community and learn from them as to how the Lyric can be even more accessible. 

“The piece that Jane and Paula have devised with Amanda over the past month is breath-taking and we hope to be able to bring it to audiences later this year. We would like to thank the Department for Communities for their support in this endeavour.” 

To view Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Drama’s with British and Irish Sign Language visit