Contact: General Manager, Frankie Bridges
Artistic Director: Paula Garfield
Deafinitely Theatre is the UK’s leading deaf theatre company. Established in 2002 by Artistic Director and co-founder, Paula Garfield, it produces bilingual theatre in British Sign Language (BSL) and spoken English. This means the company’s work can be understood by both deaf and hearing audiences together while retaining BSL as the leading language throughout.
Deafinitely’s vision is a world where deaf people are a valued part of the national theatre landscape, recognised for the excellence of their work. The company aims to build a bridge between deaf and hearing worlds by showing plays to both groups as one audience. Its productions set out to correct misconceptions about the deaf world, as well as correcting deaf people’s misconceptions of the hearing one.
Audiences queued in the street for return tickets to see Deafinitely’s sold-out premiere, Deaf History, at the Gate Theatre in London in 2002 and many more productions followed, including shows at Southwark Playhouse, Soho Theatre, Tricycle Theatre, Unicorn Theatre and on national tour.
In 2012 Deafinitely celebrated its 10-year anniversary with the first ever BSL production of Shakespeare at The Globe Theatre, its version of Love’s Labour’s Lost bringing deaf actors and audiences into the venue for the first time in its history. Following this success, the Globe invited Deafinitely back in 2014 with its production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The company also produce contemporary plays from the world repertoire and its most recent production, Grounded by George Brant at The Park Theatre in 2015, gained 4 and 5-star reviews.
An integral part of Deafinitely Theatre’s work is its extensive Education and Training Programme, including a Youth Theatre and CPD for emerging and established practitioners. The company offer bespoke workshops, masterclasses, residencies, post-performance discussions and Deaf Awareness Training for a range of participants, from school students to working professionals.
‘Definitely, I’d say, theatre for everyone.’ The Guardian
Press Quotes for Grounded by George Brant at The Park Theatre, 2014
‘Incredibly powerful and intelligent.’ The Stage 4*
‘Director Paula Garfield has given a vital new life to George Brant’s terse, fascinating piece… Grounded sees Deafinitely once again spread their wings.’ WhatsOnStage 4*
‘Makes Brant’s play seem new-minted in a production by Paula Garfield… stylishly designed and delivered.’ The Guardian 4*
‘Deafinitely Theatre’s production of Grounded by George Brant is unusual, gripping, and important… If you know any theatre people, take them to this show. They will enjoy it, and it just might encourage them to support a more inclusive theatre.’ British Theatre Guide