As part of this year’s annual London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) artsdepot will premiere deafblind theatre company Nalaga’at’s production Not By Bread Alone, while offering workshops and pop-up venues which allow audience members to explore what it is like to live with sensory disabilities.
The remarkable project has taken two years to create and has required the development of a new form of onstage communication, with the deafblind cast relying on touch to work together. Playing from 4-15 July, the actors knead, leaven and bake bread onstage as they share their stories and play out their dreams in a powerful and funny performance.
Nalaga’at was established in Israel in 2002 and is comprised of a professional group of deafblind actors and is run by Deaf, blind and deafblind employees. As well as creating a place for the employees to be able to express themselves artistically, it also aims to increase awareness of deafblind people’s abilities worldwide.
Running alongside Not By Bread Alone, artsdepot are hosting Café Kapish, which will be staffed by deaf waiters, and the Blackout Bar, where audience members can have a drink in a pitch black bar served by blind waiters. People will even be encouraged to sign their orders in Café Kapish, encouraging more understanding from the artsdepot customers.
Families will also be catered for with a series of family workshops taking place on Sunday 11 July. Led by the bar staff and waiters from the pop-up venues, visitors will be given the opportunity to eat and drink and mould clay in total darkness, and to take part in a sign language workshop.
LIFT takes place between 23 June and 18 July at venues across the capital. For more details of other shows participating in the festival visit www.liftfestival.com