BSL interpetation will follow shortly

Secondary students have been taking their enriched production of ‘A Little Man’s Holiday’ on tour to Exeter Library and the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. Their tour started earlier this month at Exeter Library and continues to The Barbican on Monday 17 October with a special performance for schools, including Longcause Community Special School and Eggbuckland Vale Primary school.

Over the past 12 months, our secondary school Expressive Arts class have been working with PaddleBoat Theatre Company to enrich ‘A Little Man’s Holiday’ with non-verbal communication and British Sign Language (BSL) to make it more accessible to both a Deaf and hearing audience.

In February, students performed their production to a packed audience of friends and family at Exeter Phoenix, and received a five star theatre review in Deaf specialist magazine SL First.

Following the partnership with Paddleboat Theatre Company, we have also been nominated for two awards in the Devon Performance Awards 2016. Year 10 student Molly has been nominated for Junior Performer of the Year and Expressive Arts Teacher, Deb Thomas, is also up for an award in the category of Outstanding Contribution to Artistic Performance in Education.

Artistic Director of PaddleBoat Theatre Company, Katy Dash, said, “The show has grown massively since we first started working together in 2015. It is now richer, more vibrant and can be enjoyed by all. This is thanks to the amazing vision and support of the students during their Expressive Arts classes. We’re always so impressed with the students’ ability to perform on a professional stage and by pushing the students to do so has really increased their confidence. By performing to both hearing and Deaf audiences in and outside Exeter we hope the talents of the Exeter Deaf Academy students will inspire similar arts projects in all children.”

Senior Supervisor for Development at Exeter Library, Karen Leach-Bowdler, said, “We were delighted that Paddleboat and Exeter Deaf Academy were able to perform ‘A little Man’s Holiday’ to our BSL Club. The students are a real credit to their school, the performance was innovative, cheerful, positive and most importantly fun. The audience were so engaged in the performance. We always enjoy working with the Deaf Academy and Paddleboat and look forward to being able to collaborate again in the future.”

We are a charity that runs a specialist school and college in a bilingual English and British Sign Language (BSL) environment for Deaf young people aged 4-24. Our English and BSL bilingual community gives Deaf young people a sense of belonging as they learn and develop their own language skills and journey towards independence and fulfilling their own potential.