The Promise

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Inspired by the extraordinary experiences of deaf people living with dementia

Deafinitely Theatre, Birmingham Rep and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre announce the full cast for the world première of The Promise written by Deafinitely Theatre’s Artistic Director Paula Garfield and Melissa Mostyn. The Promise is a new play also directed by Garfield in the company’s renowned highly visual style combining British Sign Language and Spoken English.

Garfield directs James Boyle(Jake), Erin Hutching(Jane), Louis Neethling(Mike) and Anna Seymour. Completing the creative team are Paul Burgess (Set & Costume Design), Holly Ellis (Lighting Design), Marie Zschommler (Sound Design) and Ben Glover (AV Design).

Rita is really confused.

She can’t understand why the deaf education system she’s tirelessly championed throughout her teaching career is getting worse and worse, or why there is only one care home in the whole of England that looks after people in her language. On the Isle of Wight.

She’s also confused about where her family is, and why she can’t remember where the milk goes…

The play highlights how dementia affects those in the deaf community and their families through Spoken English and British Sign Language (BSL). The UK touring production will open on Tuesday 9 April at Birmingham Rep.  The company then tours to Northern Stage in Newcastle upon Tyne, HOME Manchester and concluding at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.

Paula Garfield, Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre, said “The idea for The Promise has been in my mind for a long time, influenced by my family’s experience with dementia. Melissa and I have dedicated over two years crafting and refining the play from our personal perspectives and working closely with the deaf community. I can’t wait to collaborate with this outstanding cast and look forward to getting stuck in to exploring family dynamics and the strength of human connections when rehearsals start in March."

THE PROMISE: 6 April – 11 May 2024

  • The Rep, Birmingham: Saturday 6 April – Saturday 13 April
  • Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne: Friday 19 April – Saturday 20 April
  • HOME, Manchester: Thursday 25 April – Saturday 27 April
  • Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Hammersmith: Tuesday 30 April – Saturday 11 May

Further Information: Deafinitely Theatre