Six performers from integrated company Equal Voices Arts, dressed simply in grey, black, and white, enact stories exploring Deaf culture for Deaf and hearing audiences. Stories such as flirtations at the swimming pool and getting busted for speeding (hilarious!) are contrasted with more touching stories.

The performers Kylie Willis, Alex Lodge, Mihailo Ladjevac, Shaun Fahey, Kelly Quirke and Joanne Klaver have differing levels of training and experience however they all have a high level of precision in mime and physical storytelling. The setup for each story is skilfully acted. Usually there is a main character in the story who is then supported by other characters.  Sometimes I wanted the incidental characters to dial their performance back a bit so the main story could stay in the spotlight.  (In the Q&A the director Laura Haughey confesses that sometimes the actors start improvising and she’s never quite sure where they’re going to end up.) Musician Andy Duggan is on stage. His music follows the action on stage which affects the audience, which in turn affects the actors – even if they can’t hear what he’s playing.

I love a bilingual theatre piece. Equal Voices Arts set out to “purposefully explore the fusion of NZSL, mime, speech and physical storytelling”. I look forward to the company developing and growing more shows like this funny & moving work.

Note: A formally NZSL interpreted Q&A between the creators of the piece and the audience is held after every show.