Soonchild R&D

The Start of an Epic Journey

Last week saw Red Earth directors Wendy and Amanda working with Threaded folk fusion music trio – Rosie, Jamie and Ning-ning and actors Tom Dawze and Clare-Louise English, to begin creative work around our next touring show, Soonchild – adapted from the book by Russell Hoban.

The work in our rehearsal space was as hot as the weather outside.  We wanted to see how accessible we could make the music for the show. Threaded have already composed some of the World Songs that are a crucial part of the story. Our aim was to try and make the music as integrated and accessible to deaf audiences as the dialogue and storytelling. Thanks to sign song direction from Caroline Parker MBE we were able to translate Threaded’s beautiful songs in to BSL and provide captions for the lyrics too.

We shared the work with deaf and hearing pupils from 2 primary schools in Derby and Derbyshire. We were amazed and delighted by the positive responses we got from everyone who was there.

Music is so important to Red Earth’s productions and we discovered that music can have a significant impact for deaf and hearing audiences if presented in creative ways. We found that the key to access to music for deaf audiences is to perform it live, so that people can see the music being created and engage with the musicians and performers directly.

Soonchild will be a theatre piece with live musicians, integrated completely in to the action of the show and the instruments even play characters. It’s a very exciting approach and Threaded are exactly the right musicians to embark on this epic journey with.