Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶
© Alex Brenner - Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ @ Bristol Old Vic
BSL translation

Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ + Q&A

classified 15 S

Please note: This was screened in April 2024

George Mann, Produced by Ad Infinitum
David Ellington, Matthew Gurney, Moira Anne McAuslan, Deborah Pugh
82 mins, Subtitled, 2022, UK
Primary language
A bilingual film in BSL and English
“There’s a righteous anger about social injustice in this show that is palpable in the actors’ performances, and one that audiences can share and take away with them.” Bristol 24/7

Please join us for a special screening of Ad Infinitum's theatrical film, Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶, followed by a panel discussion. World premiered and performed at Bristol Old Vic in 2019 to critical acclaim (★★★★ The Guardian), Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ went on to tour across the UK and was made into a film for international screening at the Hong Kong No Limits Festival in 2022.

Helen, Alan and Graham are told they are impaired and need fixing. As they begin to question the world around them, three powerful, coming of age stories unfold uniting in a struggle against violence, ignorance and oppression. Connected through a shared past, the trio are transported to one pivotal moment in 1880 when a dangerous ideology was born: one that would impair the way the world views Deaf people for over a century.

Gleaned from 40 hours of testimonials collected from people all over the UK about their experiences of being Deaf, the resulting show is a potent and at times shocking piece of storytelling that relates the living history of oppression and misunderstanding of the Deaf community at the hands of the hearing.

After the screening there will be a Q&A panel discussion (with BSL interpretation) chaired by David Ellington (Deaf artist, performer and filmmaker)with Dr Paddy Ladd (author, activist and researcher of deaf culture), George Mann (Director of Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ and Co-Artistic Director of Ad Infinitum) and Lynn Stewart-Taylor (BSL Consultant/Specialist Researcher/RSLI Relay Interalingual Interpreter).

"Ad Infinitum combine the company’s signature style of physical storytelling with the beauty of British Sign Language in an unmissable feast for the senses." The Guardian

Please be aware that the film contains references to sexual violence and mental illness.

About the Panel

David Ellington

David Ellington’s roles have been diverse, including creative film, theatre, and television drama, presenting for numerous years. He also enjoys working as a Deaf consultant for theatre productions.

During his filmmaking career, he focused on producing a variety of topics and content such as, Save Community (2014), Lost Community (2016), and Two Deaf Travellers (2019), which was his first time producing an overseas documentary. On the BBC’s ‘See Hear’ programme, David was invited to make Dismantling Racism (2021), which highlighted Black Deaf people’s experiences within the deaf community. He has also worked as a videographer and editor on a documentary called the Deaf Academy (2022), as well as supporting deaf students in learning about filmmaking.

David organises monthly ‘Deaf Conversation about Cinema’ sessions at Watershed which have been running since 2018.

Lynn Stewart-Taylor

Lynn Stewart-Taylor, an accomplished actor and British Sign Language (BSL) consultant, directs her commitment toward improving accessibility in theatre and social care through a combination of expertise and inclusivity. As a dedicated activist and campaigner, Lynn launched the impactful #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign in 2020 amidst the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting her resolute commitment to confronting social injustice.

Dr Paddy Ladd

Dr Paddy Ladd, author of Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, was lecturer and MSc co-ordinator at the Centre for Deaf Studies at the University of Bristol. He completed his PhD in Deaf Culture at Bristol University in 1998 and has written, edited and contributed to numerous publications in the field. Both his writings and his Deaf activism have received international recognition, and in 1998 he was awarded the Deaf Lifetime Achievement Award by the Federation of Deaf People, for activities which have extended the possibilities for Deaf communities both in the UK and worldwide.

George Mann

George Mann is co-artistic director of Ad Infinitum, which he founded in 2007. Over the last 17 years he has devised, directed, written and performed for the Company. Credits include: Odyssey, winner of 'The Stage Best Solo Performer Award', Translunar Paradise, winner of nine awards; Light; Extraordinary Wall [of Silence]; Beautiful Evil Things, number 4 in The Guardian's 'Best Theatre of 2022';and the recently critically acclaimed Last Rites.

George won the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic’s Quercus Trust Award in December 2014 and was Associate Director at Bristol Old Vic 2015-17. His critically acclaimed main stage directorial work at Bristol Old Vic included Pink Mist, written by Owen Sheers.

This event is presented by Watershed in partnership with Ad Infinitum

Ad Infinitum logo

Full production credits.

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