Sign language production is something to shout about

Gary Jefferies

THE WORLD’S FIRST family musical written specifically for deaf audiences is coming to Tunbridge Wells this weekend as part of a national tour.

Oliver in the Overworld focuses primarily on visual performance combining mime, dance, song, puppets, sign language and Commedia dell Arte – a traditional Italian form of theatre based around improvisation and sketches.

Performed by the The Krazy Kat Theatre Company, it is aimed at young children, aged 3-7, and is fully accessible to those with hearing impairments.

The musical tells the story of Freddie, a little deaf boy who seeks to mend the memory of his best friend Oliver the Grandfather Clock.

Freddie’s musical adventure tackles the acceptance of old age, its associated loss of mental facilities and children’s abilities to assist in the resolution of conflict. It is also a colourful celebration of difference in both ability and social background.

The company’s co-founder, Kinny Gardner, is considered an innovator because of his use in Sign Language Arts.

He is currently a Development Adviser to BBC’s CBeebies, working on producing new mainstream Sign Language television projects for the more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK.

Oliver in the Underworld will be playing at The Trinity Theatre on Sunday [April 30]. Tickets can be purchased from

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