A film by Hot Coals Theatre
Written by Jo Sargeant & Clare-Louise English
Directed by Clare-Louise English
Based on the true story of Clive, who, as a young boy at the outbreak of the Second World War, contracted Meningitis and lost both his sight and his hearing.
Clive is now 15 years old and attending Goring School, having been evacuated from Margate School for the Deaf. Clive’s father, away serving in the Navy receives a heartfelt letter from his wife, Dorothy. As Christopher reads the letter English, BSL and Visual Vernacular interweave to tell the shocking story of a war plane crashing to the ground meters away from Clive’s classroom.
My Darling Christopher is an exploration as part of a larger project to create a full theatre production entitled A New Way of Life. This wider production, which has been put on hold due to recent lockdown measures, follows Clive’s story as he navigates life through the war and through his sight and hearing loss, attending Deaf Schools, learning Sign Language and learning a new way to communicate with his beloved mother, Dorothy.
The piece will use a unique theatrical language that is highly visual and inclusive, combining spoken English, British Sign Language and Visual Vernacular.
★★★★ ‘Based on the true story of Clive Davis, [My Darling Christopher’s] narrative interweaves the past and the present through beautiful imagery and sound design to make the spectator feel like they have embarked upon a wistful journey through time and into another dimension altogether.’ The Up Coming
All bookers will also receive a link to a documentary about the making of ‘My Darling Christopher’ by Hot Coals – the link will be in the booking confirmation which will be emailed after completing the ticket check out procedure.
With special thanks to:
Arts Council England
Christopher: Robin Paley Yorke
Clive: William Grint
Pilot: Brian Duffy
Dorothy: Jo Sargeant
Deaf Dramaturge: Stephen Collins
Director of Photography: David Monteith-Hodge
Additional Filming: Teresa Garratty
Editor: Timothy Kelly
Assistant Editor: Tyler Forward
Music: Chris Drohan
Costume: Jo Sargeant
Runner: Teresa Thornber-Mann
On set Interpreter: Erin Hutching
Tickets are available as ‘Pay What You Can’ – the suggested price for this event is £5 – but there are a range of ticket prices so you can choose what you can afford from the options, including £0 as we want as many people as possible to access our Homemakers commissions.
We’ve also included a higher option for anyone who wants to take the opportunity to make a larger donation to our artists and organisations. How much you choose to pay is completely up to you, and every audience member will receive exactly the same content and experience.
All the money raised from ticket sales for this event will be split evenly with 50% going directly to the artist and 50% to RADA Festival’s response fund to allow them to continue to support future artists and commissions.
Homemakers Project Overview
Homemakers is a series of new commissions, where we invite our favourite artists and artistic partners to combine to create work at home, for an audience who are also at home.
We’re not pretending that all art can be experienced online just as satisfactorily as in person; but we want to demonstrate the innovation of artists who work all kinds of forms, by inviting them to respond to this very specific context. We want to bring contemporary new performance to audiences all over the world, in all its form-flexing, mind-expanding, surprising subversive brilliance.
About Hot Coals
Hot Coals Theatre was founded in 2012 by alumni of the acclaimed MA Theatre Lab at RADA, Clare-Louise English & Jo Sargeant and their patron is Caroline Parker MBE.
Hot Coals combine physical theatre, clowning and mask to create their own unique, highly visual theatre. It is Hot Coals’ mission to create visual theatre accessible to both hearing and d/Deaf audiences in a shared experience.
Previous productions: Storm in a Teacup, Finders Keepers and Knock Knock have all toured the UK and received critical acclaim. Hot Coals currently have two theatre productions in development and have enjoyed their first foray into film-making!
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About RADA Festival
The RADA Festival is a vibrant annual event that nurtures artists’ development and provides a platform for emerging and established work. Usually hosted at RADA over 10 days in June and July, the Festival supports and celebrates the variety of work RADA’s graduates create as they form new collaborations, explore different creative practices and develop innovative ideas in theatre-making. We present work at the Festival that embraces multiple perspectives, encourages creative risk, is current, engaging and thoughtful.
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“Now more than ever, is the time to come together and recognise each other’s strengths by exploring creative opportunities. In the absence of a full RADA Festival this year, we are absolutely thrilled to be collaborating as a partner for the Homemakers programme. It’s been really inspiring to watch these lockdown projects develop and be able to continue to support emerging work from across the globe.” Jo Wiltshire, RADA Festival Producer.