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Sumida River in Sign Language

Noh Reimagined

Sat 25 Jun
Contemporary

Sumida River in Sign Language

Noh Reimagined

Deborah Nash producer
Verity Lane director
Beibei Wang percussion
Chisato Minamimura as the Mother
Brian Duffy as the Ferryman
Stephanie Daw choreographer/Ghost Child
Mirei Yazawa costume designer
Elizabeth Oliver Voice-over

Feel the river as a ferryman takes a mother across its churning waters in search of her lost son – but all she finds is a ghost child. Poignancy and comedy meet in the Japanese and British Sign Languages of Deaf performers, who are played like musical instruments by a mysterious masked percussionist.


Brought to you by Whatmore? Productions, Verity Lane’s scintillating show is a multimedia reimagining of the 600-year-old Japanese Noh play, Sumidagawa, which inspired Benjamin Britten to compose his musical parable, Curlew River.

* Please note: this production of Sumida River in Sign Language is inclusive and can be enjoyed by both d/Deaf and hearing audiences.


Verity Lane is a director and composer who specialises in creating highly visual soundscapes for traditional Japanese instruments. Mentored by the late Indian composer John Mayer, she won an award by JASSO to study at Osaka University, Japan. She then went on to complete an MA in composition at Osaka College of Music. Recently, two pieces from her 3 Summer Pieces for bass koto (Japanese harp) were premiered on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction and Origami Soundscapes/The Crane at the Arcola.

Deaf artist Chisato Minamimura plays the lead role of Mother. Her recent work includes Scored in Silence, a performance with digital animations exploring the experience of Deaf survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in 1945. This show has toured the UK and abroad.

Deaf performer Brian Duffy plays the role of Ferryman. Brian is credited as co-creating the first sitcom in British Sign Language called Small World as well as performing in many stage adaptations that include Love’s Labour’s Lost and 4.48 Psychosis with Deafinitely Theatre Company. He recently appeared in Elf and Duffy: Heist at Soho Theatre.

The choreographer is Stephanie Daw and the costume designer and maker is Mirei Yazawa, who has designed costumes in previous productions for Verity Lane.

Genre-defying percussionist Beibei Wang is an acclaimed international virtuoso and multi-percussionist composer with both Chinese and British musical education background. Beibei has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the classical music world, receiving international praise for her projects. Her music spans many genres, ranging from classical, contemporary, experimental, traditional, improvisation, electronic, jazz and pop. By exploring new possibilities and challenging assumptions, she and her collaborators have delighted audiences the world over.

What More? Productions was founded by Deborah Nash in 2016 to create highly visual theatre connecting history and ritual with the present day. The Knitting Pattern play (Theatre503, 2017) centered on the activity of knitting to dramatise the unravelling of traditional hierarchies through the lives of an aristocrat and a cross-dressing spy during the French Revolution.


Sumida River in Sign Language is supported by:

Arts Council England, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Churchill Estates, The Golsoncott Foundation and the Unity Theatre Trust.

Noh Reimagined 2022 is supported by:

Agency for Cultural Affairs, government of Japan through the Japan Arts Council, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Arts Council England, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, The Asahi Shimbun Foundation

Date:Sat 25 Jun
Start time:2pm (Doors: 1.30pm)
Venue:Hall Two
Price:£12.50
+ £3 booking fee.

Booking Fees

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Availability:Tickets available
SAVE 10% when you book 2+ Noh Reimagined events
Discount automatically applied when two events have been added to your online basket. This offer is limited to a selection of events and subject to event availability. Saver Seats are excluded from the offer, and terms and conditions apply. For more information, please call the Box Office on 020 7520 1490.
SAVE 15% when you book 3+ Noh Reimagined events
Discount automatically applied when three events have been added to your online basket. This offer is limited to a selection of events and subject to event availability. Saver Seats are excluded from the offer, and terms and conditions apply. For more information, please call the Box Office on 020 7520 1490.
SAVE 20% when you book 4+ Noh Reimagined events
Discount automatically applied when four events have been added to your online basket. This offer is limited to a selection of events and subject to event availability. Saver Seats are excluded from the offer, and terms and conditions apply. For more information, please call the Box Office on 020 7520 1490.
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