Newport woman to star in show about being blind
9:32pm Tuesday 11th March 2014 in News
A VISUALLY impaired Newport woman will challenge the fears and perceptions of blindness in a new theatre show.
Lyn Street, 57, will star in show 21st Century Dinosaurs which opens in South Wales later this month alongside three other visually impaired actors.
The show aims to raise important questions about visual impairment, genetics and cultural issues.
The multi-media theatre production by award-winning director and filmmaker Chris Tally Evans will run from March 27-29 at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.
Miss Street, who works for a disability charity, said being in the show is a ‘fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’
She said: “I got into acting at school when I was about 15. I went to some summer schools in drama in the 80s and 90s but they started to get too ‘samey’ so I stopped going and then got back into it when I got involved in this unusual stage school in 2006.”
Originally from Somerset, Miss Street met director Chris Tally Evans at a conference and became involved in the show.
“It is a plaited plot with lots of different things going on,” she said of the play.
“But it all works together with extracts from ‘The Island of the Colour Blind’ woven in with the journey which the three characters take.”
Miss Street said one of the biggest challenges faced as a blind actor is how to convey gestures on stage for the benefit of the visual audience.
“The other bits of the play are regarding the realities of not being able to see and being a Muslim in British society,” she continued.
“I think the play is for everybody and think it will be quite thought provoking and make people laugh.
“Everybody will learn and enjoy it.”
The director said 21st Century Dinosaurs aims to confront the stereotype of disability theatre.
He said: “Four of our performers have genetic visual impairments. These have shaped our lives and given us a unique way of seeing and interacting with the world. Current advances in genetic science mean that in future people like us may simply cease to exist. That’s why we called it Dinosaurs.”
“We’re looking at the stories and experiences that make us unique – and asking what happens when we’re all exploded by the meteor of genetic science.”
The production has received support from the Arts Council of Wales, The Big Lottery Fund, Welsh Government, Chapter Arts Centre and Moorfields Eye Hospital. Performances start at 7.30pm. on the 27th, 28th and 29th March 2014 Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions). All shows will be audio described and BSL interpreted.
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