Last night we watched the final performance ever by
3D Derby Deaf Drama
of Cinderella’s Last Ball
3D, a Deaf led, community theatre company is closing after 14 years together. Red Earth Theatre worked with the founder members for 2 years to establish the company. Since then they have gone from strength to strength, producing a Deaf Pantomime almost every year as well as other shows in between. Red Earth joined them this year again, to work on their last planned show – Cinderella’s Last Ball.
When we started together, the founder members had Deaf and hearing children. They wanted to make theatre that their children and other hearing and Deaf children could watch together.
Last night at the final performance, some of these ‘children’ sat as young adults to watch their parents and grandparents perform together for the last time. So, what is the legacy? What is the future for Deaf theatre in Derby?
Julie Murray – a founder member said that, “Young Deaf and hearing people have their own lives and interests these days.” And that is true. But the commitment and professionalism of their older relatives, forged over the last 14 years, will have made an impact.
Younger Deaf children attending this year’s pantomime loved it. They had the unique opportunity to interact with the characters, as many hearing children do at pantomimes all around the country.
The skills and talents of this amazing group of people will not be lost entirely. Red Earth hopes that with a little break, some of them, if not all, will be persuaded to tread the boards again. Perhaps with new stories and new partners? As the Fairy Godmother said to Cinderella,