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For over a decade, British playwright Kaite O’Reilly has turned the unrecorded experiences of the deaf and disabled into fictionalised tales introduced on the stage.

She collaborates with Singaporean theatre-makers in And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore “d” Monologues, which runs from Friday to Sunday on the National Museum of Singapore’s Gallery Theatre.

The manufacturing is directed by British director Phillip Zarrilli, with Singapore’s Peter Sau performing as affiliate director, researcher and performer. Well-known United Kingdom-based Singaporean Ramesh Meyyappan, who is deaf, performs and is the present’s visible director.

It is uncommon right here for productions to be completely led by artists who are deaf or disabled – O’Reilly has “two invisible disabilities” which have an effect on her senses.

She makes a distinction between And Suddenly I Disappear – incapacity arts – and the “charity model” of arts and incapacity extra widespread right here, the place the deaf and disabled are offered entry to the humanities for “socialisation and therapy”.

“It’s a very different power dynamic,” she says.

Disability arts is about empowerment and altering perceptions of individuals with disabilities or the deaf. “We very much as a company want to embrace all the notions of human variety. We want to challenge the notion of what’s normal,” she says.


  • WHERE: Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, 98 Stamford Road

  • WHEN: Saturday, 8pm, and Sunday, 3pm. All different reveals bought out.

  • ADMISSION: $32 from or tickets

And Suddenly I Disappear is supported by UK arts commissioning programme Unlimited, which helps disabled artists; in addition to the Arts Council of Wales and the British Council.

Apart from spoken English, the theatrical manufacturing options captioning, British signal language, Singapore signal language and the “visual language” employed by the deaf, the place area and positioning of objects are as vital as heard phrases. Judging by the trailer on-line, it’s a uniquely moving and enchanting expertise.

This suits in with O’Reilly’s level that tweaks which make artwork extra accessible for the disabled or deaf, find yourself benefiting many extra.

Take ramps in theatres and galleries for wheelchair customers, for instance. Ramps in public areas are equally helpful for fogeys pushing prams or individuals hobbled quickly by a fractured limb.

She says: “If you live long enough, every one of us will be disabled through wear and tear. If we’re all going to need extra help, doesn’t it make more sense for there to be an accessible environment for all of us?”

O’Reilly has visited Singapore frequently since 2004 to show college students on the Intercultural Theatre Institute. Sau was certainly one of her college students and helped conduct the interviews with disabled and deaf Singaporeans that the playwright used for her scripts.

Sau additionally conducts a coaching programme for artists with disabilities, Project Tandem, supported by the British Council.

Some rising artists from this programme are a part of the solid and manufacturing crew of And Suddenly I Disappear.

O’Reilly and Sau emphasise that the actors will not be performing their very own tales on stage. Such assumptions are demeaning, as if “the only thing we can do is tell our own stories”, provides the playwright.

Sau says: “Every single one of us on stage is speaking on behalf of a larger group of people. It’s not just one story.”

O’Reilly provides: “This production is not about what it is to be disabled or deaf. It’s about what it means to be human in all its wonderful varieties.”

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