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> > > Signdance Collective International announce a new BBC Radio 4 drama - 'Bad Elvis' - an innovative play visualises radio

21 August 2013

photo of the back of an elvis impersonator holding a sequined cloak out behind him

Bad Elvis takes to the stage... on radio

Signdance Collective International [SDCI] are engaged in an exciting new collaboration with BBC Radio 4 that will break new ground by enabling deaf people to engage with Bad Elvis, a brand new radio play that is due to be broadcast on 27 August.

The radio play, which is written by Katie Hims and stars David Bower, Artistic Director of SDCI, will also be turned into a major signdance theatre music production. The central concept of the project is to open up radio drama and make it accessible to everyone, but in particular available for Deaf people to enjoy.

It will be directed by Sue Roberts, BBC Editor Audio Drama and The Verb (BBC Radio 3) and Signdance Collective Artistic Patron. The work is supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts programme and Bucks New University.

Bad Elvis takes place in a surreal world set between a radio studio, hotel lobby and function room. The audience will be part of the action as guests at a wedding and will get involved by taking part in the first UK flash mob mass sign karaoke.

The cast includes David Bower, one of the UKs leading Deaf actors who will play the role of Ayden. Laura Goulden is Snow White with choreography by Isolte Avila and live music by Dead Days Beyond Help.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: ‘One of the Arts Council’s main goals is to get more people to experience and be inspired by all the arts and culture have to offer.

‘This project really embodies that goal and what’s wonderful about it is that it will break new ground by enabling deaf people to engage with the radio, a medium that is traditionally closed to them. It will be particularly exciting to see the audience not only become participants in the play, but also something much bigger and more significant as Signdance Collective create the UK’s first flashmob mass sign karaoke.’

Bad Elvis will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 27 August at 2.15pm

The show is due to premiere in March 2014 at a major festival event.

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