Jenny Agutter and Yevgeny Mironov join the cast which includes Rustam Ahmadeev, Zara-Jayne Arnold, Jonathan Bex, Kirill Byrkin, Roman Evdokimov, Raji Gopalakrishnan, Alexey Gorelov, Alyona Kapustyan, Yuliya Khamitova, Olga Lapshina, Sophie Lebedeva, Vera Lyzhenkova, Sally McNeill, Irina Povolotskaya, Alexandra Rudik, Ekaterina Sakhno and Alexandr Silyanov.
Jenny Agutter first came to the public’s attention playing Roberta in the film of The Railway Children and The Girl in Nic Roeg’s Walkabout. Since then she has had a prolific career in film television and theatre including seasons with the RSC and the National Theatre. She is currently filming series 7 of Call the Midwife.
Jenny Agutter said, ‘As a patron of Graeae, I’m thrilled to be involved in the UK premiere of Theatre of Nations and Inclusion Theatre’s In Touch at the National Theatre, directed by Ruslan Malikov with associate Jenny Sealey. To be working with the extraordinary team of D/deafblind artists from Moscow and being part of telling their stories is a real privilege. It’s the first time that Graeae, the NT and Sense have been involved in a show of this nature, and I can’t wait to see how audiences respond.’
Yevgeny Mironov is an acclaimed Russian film and stage actor. He is Artistic Director of Theatre of Nations, and winner of the Meritorious Artist of Russian Federation (1996), People’s Artist of Russia (2004), and was State Prize of the Russian Federation laureate in 1995 and 2010.
Yevgeny Mironov said, ‘In Touch was born in the Theatre of Nations and Territory Festival and has travelled a long way, and now it is in London. The themes of the play are completely international. The mission of this project is to understand that we are all in one world, and we share the world with people who perceive it differently. And the fact that this project is in London now and will be in other cities and countries in the future, proves that as we extend our boundaries and share our experience and knowledge, we learn to love together in the world today. The prospective of this project is unlimited.’
In Touch captures the real stories of people who are deafblind, blind, visually impaired, D/deaf, hard-of-hearing, sighted and hearing, told through an eclectic style of spoken, signed and physical theatre. The show explores the emotional rollercoaster of being human, how we each navigate our lives and what happens when different worlds collide and unite. In Touch is designed by Ekaterina Dzhadarova, with choreography by Evgeny Kulagin and Alexandra Rudik, music design by Anna Pashinskaya, sound design by Mikhail Myasoedov, lighting design by Nataya Lapteva, with dramaturgy by Marina Krapivina and produced by Viktoria Avdeeva. The original 2015 production was inspired by Yevgeny Mironov and produced by Ingeborga Dapkunaite.
Inclusion Theatre Company is a part of Deafblind Support Fund Connection.
Please note: The production will be captioned and will include surtitles as it is performed in Russian and English. The show will be audio described, with integrated British Sign Language interpretation.
Watch an interview with Jenny Sealey here.
TICKETS: For anyone with access requirements, please subscribe to the NT’s Access List, which will allow you to select your own seats when booking online, or call Box Office on 020 7452 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About In Touch
In Touch is part of a long-term project between Inclusion Theatre Company and the Theatre of Nations, using the arts to connect people who are deafblind, sighted and hearing in different spaces. The original production, Touch-Ables, based on the real stories of the actors and their interactions with the world and the diaries of two women that are deafblind from 20th Century Russia, had its premiere in 2015 in Russia. The show was shown on leading stages in Moscow and St Petersburg, and was nominated for the prestigious Russian ‘Golden Mask’ Theatre Award. For this staging at the NT, Jenny Sealey will work with the company to develop the original production with actors who have sensory impairments from the original Russian show, plus British and French performers who are deafblind, sighted and hearing.
About Inclusion Theatre Company
Inclusion Theatre Company is a centre for the development of professional inclusive theatre in Russia, bringing together artists and directors of leading drama theatres and its own inclusive troupe. It is a part of Inclusion Arts Centre which also includes Inclusion.School and Inclusion.Laboratory. Since the first staging of Touch-Ables (2015), Inclusion Theatre has produced four productions and is developing two new ones this year. Touch-Ables was created to raise social awareness about Deafblind people in Russia. Three further plays were co-created with three leading drama schools in Russia to explore different forms of theatre with inclusive opportunities: Marriage after Gogol, Seagull after Chekhov and Carmen after Merime. The productions were all brilliant examples of how high quality performance erases any limits and stereotypes, uniting actors with various abilities in breath-taking, hilarious, unforgettable plays. The search for best practices and how to apply them in Russian inclusive theatre resulted in creating the sensory performance Four Winds as a part of accessibility programme with the British director Tim Webb and in initiating this international project In Touch.
Inclusion’s latest project is Living Paintings, a play about paintings and how people with and without eyesight perceive them, which will premiere in November 2017. The inner view, the hidden images in actors’ minds will be animated by Oscar-winning artist Aleksandr Petrov. Like in In Touch, in Living Paintings there are Deafblind, hearing and sighted actors.
Inclusion Theatre Company projects use various forms of theatre to enable actors with different abilities to reach the highest levels of artistry.
About Theatre of Nations
Theatre of Nations is both a repertory theatre and a producing centre. It operates without a permanent company of actors, while each project is managed using an individually designed production plan. The primary mission of the Theatre of Nations is to establish an international theatre dialogue and bring the best forces of international theatre to its stage. The ongoing performance roster currently lists performances directed by top international stage directors who frequent theatre festivals all over the world. Among those are Thomas Ostermeier, Robert Wilson, Robert Lepage, Alvis Hermanis, Eimuntas Nekrošius and Javor Gardev. Theatre of Nations also introduces its audience to the works of best stage directors of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Russian regions.
About Graeae Theatre Company
Graeae is a force for change in world-class theatre – breaking down barriers, challenging preconceptions and boldly placing D/deaf and disabled artists centre stage. Artistically led by Jenny Sealey MBE, Graeae’s signature characteristic is the creative integration of sign language, audio description and captioning, which engages with both disabled and non-disabled audiences. Championing accessibility and providing a platform for new generations of artists, Graeae leads the way in pioneering, trail-blazing theatre.
Recent productions include The House of Bernarda Alba (co-production with Royal Exchange Theatre) and The Solid Life of Sugar Water (co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth) one of the last productions to play in the National Theatre’s Temporary Theatre in March 2016. In 2017, Graeae is touring a brand new production of Reasons to be Cheerful supported by Arts Council England, and premiering Cosmic Scallies by new playwright Jackie Hagan at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (co-production with Royal Exchange Theatre).
Graeae develops the next generation of D/deaf and disabled artists through groundbreaking programmes and courses including: ‘Write to Play’, a bold initiative committed to developing new writers in collaboration with the most creative minds in the industry and ‘Ensemble’, a work-based learning programme for D/deaf and disabled artists aged between 18 and 22.
Throughout the year, Graeae runs workshops and training programmes internationally from Brazil to Bangladesh.
Graeae works extensively with young people through its outreach programme. Workshops and residencies run by their pool of D/deaf and disabled facilitators in a variety of education settings help to build new audiences, engage young creative minds and empower young disabled artists.
About Jenny Sealey
Jenny Sealey has been Graeae’s Artistic Director since 1997. Her recent productions for Graeae include Reasons to be Cheerful (touring until November 2017), The House of Bernarda Alba, Blood Wedding and The Threepenny Opera. In 2009, she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Honours and became an Artistic Advisor for Unlimited 2012 Festival. Jenny co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony alongside Bradley Hemmings (GDIF). She also won the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award and was named on the Time Out London and Hospital Club h.Club100 2012 list of the most influential people in the creative industries. Since 2012 Jenny has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Drama from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Performing Arts from Middlesex University and a Fellowship at Central School of Speech and Drama.
Sense is a national charity that supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives. Their expertise in supporting individuals with communication needs benefits people of all ages, as well as their families and carers. Sense provide information and advice, offer a wide range of flexible services and campaign passionately for the rights of the people they serve.
About the British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.
About the National Theatre
The National Theatre make world-class theatre that is entertaining, challenging and inspiring, and they make it for everyone. In 2016-2017, the NT staged 26 productions and gave 2,585 performances at their home on the South Bank. The NT’s award-winning programme had a UK paying audience of 1.8 million, 400,000 of which were NT Live audiences.
The work the National Theatre produces appeals to the widest possible audiences with new plays, musicals, re-imagined classics and new work for young audiences. The NT’s work is seen in the West End, on tour throughout the UK and internationally, and in collaborations and co-productions with partners across the country. Through NT Live, we broadcast some of the best of British theatre to over 2,000 venues in 60 countries around the world.
The NT's extensive Learning programme offers talks, events and workshops for people of all ages, and reaches nationwide through programmes such as Connections, their annual festival of new plays for schools and youth theatres. In 2016-2017 there were 196,826 participations through the NT Learning events programme. Over 3,000 schools have signed up to the free streaming service, On Demand. In Schools, since its launch in September 2015.