Deafinitely Theatre proved popular on Bankside when they first performed at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2012 with their production of Love’s Labour’s Lost - the first ever full length Shakespeare play performed in British Sign Language. The production was a part of the Globe to Globe Festival which saw all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays performed in 37 languages. Paula Garfield, who co-directed Love’s Labour’s Lost and director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream said:
"We all, including all of the actors, felt so privileged to be invited back. The deaf community, both in England and internationally, are so excited about it. It's a huge boost to our culture and our language. This is something that says we are of value. Someone said to me summer feels more positive already because of this forthcoming production.'
The cast is Alim Jayda (Puck), Ace Mahbaz (Theseus/ Oberon), Nadia Nadarajah (Hippolyta/ Titania), Anna-Maria Nabirye (Fairy), Adam Bassett (Lysander), Fifi Garfield (Hermia), Lee Robertson (Demetrius), Charlotte Arrowsmith (Helena), David Sands (Bottom), Ralph Bogard (Peter Quince) and Jason Taylor (Francis Flute).
Established in 2002 Deafinitely Theatre is an independent, professional company led by Deaf people with an aim to build a bridge between Deaf and hearing worlds by performing to both groups as one audience. Funded by Arts Council England, they create productions in British Sign Language (BSL) and English, which can be understood by everyone, and yet retain BSL as the leading language. As well as presenting work by canonical writers, Deafinitely aims for untold stories from the Deaf community to be performed on the stage and encourages deaf people to create their own plays through an annual playwriting competition. The company have performed at the Soho Theatre, the Tricycle, Southwark Playhouse and Stratford Circus.