Ad Infinitum announce an exploration of under threat Deaf culture as part of new season

  • Premiering at Bristol Old Vic in Autumn 2019, Extraordinary Wall of Silence delves into the eradication of Deaf language and culture that has been ongoing more than a century
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit No Kids will have its London premiere at Battersea Arts Centre in February 2019
  • Wrapping up 2018, magical Christmas show Chloe and the Colour Catcher will be delighting children in Bristol from 30 Nov – 6 Jan

Ad Infinitum have announced the highlight of their next season as Extraordinary Wall of Silence (working title), a new show which delves into a relatively unknown history of oppression of the Deaf community in order to draw attention to and celebrate an under-threat culture. From Oralists who wanted to make deaf people speak and ‘hear’, to the Eugenics movement which aimed to eradicate deafness through sterilisation and extermination, to more recent threats from ignorance in mainstream society and the closing of Deaf Clubs, the new show will present the challenges the Deaf community have faced. Made with three Deaf and two hearing actors, the show will facilitate a long overdue encounter between the two worlds, shining a light onto a culture that isn’t widely recognised in the mainstream media.

In the tradition of Deaf Clubs, vital hubs for the communities to connect, hear news and share stories, Ad Infinitum have already gathered over 30 hours’ worth of stories. As sign languages are independent languages with their own grammatical structure and vocabulary, and are not written languages, many of these stories and histories have gone undocumented. Extraordinary Wall of Silence will share these stories in British Sign Language and in English, using them as a starting point to explore in-depth a culture under threat.

The show will premiere before touring in Autumn 2019 in the company’s home town of Bristol, where the local Deaf Club was unexpectedly closed in 2013 without consultation with its Deaf members.

George Mann said, “Ad Infinitum have been working with D/deaf artists and within the D/deaf community in London and Bristol since 2013, however Extraordinary Wall of Silence will be the company’s first production to explore the themes of Deaf Culture and Deaf History exclusively. The final piece as a whole aims to be a call to action – a way of turning hearing people previously oblivious to the Deaf cause, into allies who will stand alongside those fighting for change.”

Ad Infinitum will also be touring their Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit No Kids starring Co-Artistic Directors George and Nir, a real-life couple trying to answer a question many of us face. As they stage their discussions around if, when and how to have children, every consideration – adoption, surrogacy, co-parenting, the environmental impact of childbirth – brings with it a succession of ethical challenges. The show will be touring in Spring 2019, including a three-week run at Battersea Arts Centre (5 – 23 Feb).

Nir Paldi said, “Seeing many straight people around me having children as just something you do, (like getting married or going to university) I came to think that the question George and I are asking ourselves is in fact much bigger, and found myself wondering: should this be applied to society as a whole…?” George Mann adds, “In reality, this is the story of us. It’s about our relationship, and it delves into the intimacy of a long-term partnership as it goes through a very challenging process. But as dark as some of the material we’re creating is proving to be, there is also love, and hope there too.”

To wrap up 2018, Ad Infinitum are presenting a new children’s show, Chloe and the Colour Catcher, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic (30 Nov 2018 – 6 Jan 2019) where they are Associate Artists. Chloe lives in a world with only one colour, a world that is completely grey. But at night, when she’s wrapped up tight, her dreams are colourful and bright. Transforming Bristol Old Vic’s brand-new Weston Studio into a vibrant world of colour and rhyme, join Chloe on her courageous journey to unleash all seven shades of the rainbow in this extraordinary and wholly original tale of bravery, self-expression and fighting for what your heart knows to be true.

Nir Paldi said of Chloe and the Colour Catcher “We are all born into an environment that is not of our choosing. An environment that then becomes all we know to be true. Some of us fit perfectly into the reality we were born into. Others question the world around them and challenge it with curiosity. Chloe is one of those who questions. She wants to understand why there isn’t more, and how she can stop the world around her from being unfair. I hope you find young Chloe inspiring in her curiosity and fighting spirit, as she embarks on a battle for endless diversity, freedom, originality and imagination.”

Ad Infinitum is an international ensemble based in Bristol, developing new and original theatre. Founded in 2007, Ad Infinitum is led by Co-Artistic Directors, Nir Paldi and George Mann. They create shape-shifting socio-political theatre to provoke, move and inspire through innovative storytelling and bold experimental styles. Ad Infinitum’s theatre draws upon the power of the body, engages audiences with urgent issues, and ignites passionate debate. Previous shows include Translunar ParadiseOdyssey, Bucket List, Light, and Ballad of the Burning Star. Ad Infinitum is Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic and The North Wall. They are Associate Artist Alumni at the Bush Theatre (2011-2013), The Lowry (2011-2017) and Redbridge Drama Centre (2009-2017).

@TheatreAdInf | www.ad-infinitum.org

Listings information

Chloe and the Colour Catcher

30 Nov 2018 – 6 Jan 2019         Bristol Old Vic

No Kids

Touring 24th Jan – 29 March 2019

24 – 25 Jan                               Unity Theatre, Liverpool

28 Jan                                      The Art Centre, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk

1 Feb                                        The Lowry, Salford (Co presented by Contact and The Lowry)

5 – 23 Feb                                Battersea Arts Centre, London

27 Feb – 9 Mar                          Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

11 Mar                                      Bedales School, Petersfield

12 Mar                                      Arts at Stowe, Buckingham

29 Mar                                      Corn Exchange, Newbury

Extraordinary Wall of Silence (working title)

Autumn 2019 – Spring 2020

Premiering at Bristol Old Vic in Autumn 2019

Co commissioned by Bristol Old Vic, HOME and Salisbury Playhouse.

Supported by In Good Company and Watershed, Bristol.