Sign language interpretation for virtual shows at Eastwood Park Theatre

Bruce Cameron, Sign Language Interpreter at Eastwood Park TheatreBruce Cameron, Sign Language Interpreter at Eastwood Park Theatre
Bruce Cameron, Sign Language Interpreter at Eastwood Park Theatre
Eastwood Park Theatre has invested in British Sign Language (BSL) support for two professional plays, as part of its ethos that theatre is accessible to all.

Blackeyed Theatre Company's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1-21 May 2021) and Jane Eyre (2-20 May 2021) are suitable for everyone to enjoy, with local interpreter Bruce Cameron bringing the classic plays to life for those who use sign language.

The plays were filmed in 2020 and have been nominated for an award for excellence. Bruce worked on both performances at the Giffnock theatre, which have now been digitally remastered to bring a fully BSL version to the screen.

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Bruce said: "It's been fantastic to be asked along to Eastwood Park Theatre to work on these two performances and to provide interpretation for those who use sign language.

"I have been using sign language since I was 11 months old as both my parents were deaf. I've worked as an interpreter now for over ten years in a variety of roles, from court and police support work to social work and interpreting for theatre audiences.

"This is the first time I've done interpreting for an online audience as I usually stand at the side of the stage delivering it live. The pandemic has pushed everything online and there are benefits to working this way as an interpreter. I can see more body language and reactions now, which I think enhances the interpretation, for example, when Dr Jekyll turns into Mr Hyde I can add more emotion when I'm signing. I also find this way of working a lot more relaxed."

The team at Eastwood Park Theatre has been adapting their skills for a digital audience and exploring new ways to stay connected with existing and new customers during lockdown.

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Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland, Eastwood Park Theatre developed a full programme of entertainment to be enjoyed virtually, while supporting local artists and organisations and planning for a sustainable return to the theatre.

Moira McFadden, Head of Arts and Community at East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure said: "We're so happy to be able to provide British Sign Language interpreted performances for audiences at home this spring.

"Staying in touch with our audience through quality live stream and encore theatre performances has been challenging but hugely rewarding and we thank all of our customers for their support, past and present. Until we can welcome you back into the auditorium we will keep looking for creative ways to keep you entertained and enjoying professional theatre."

Adrian McDougall from Blackeyed Theatre added: "It is one of the few positive knock on effects of the pandemic that arts organisations have adapted to life without theatres by reaching out online and in so doing giving access to theatre to more people.

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“We're delighted to be working with Eastwood Park to add BSL interpretation to Jane Eyre and Jekyll & Hyde in what is an expansion of our efforts to break down barriers to engagement in the arts and ensure diversity in audiences.”

Various dates and times are available for The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and Jane Eyre.

Both shows are recommended for ages 11+ and tickets cost £10 per household.

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