Award-winning family theatre company Tessa Bide Productions have adapted their successful interactive live show, The Anarchist’s Mobile Library, into an interactive audio and British Sign Language (BSL) adventure for children and their families to play from home. It is available to play from Saturday 21 November by visiting: https://www.library.live/the-library-presents-blog/the-anarchists-mobile-library.
Alongside the audio version, The Library Presents Digitally, have commissioned the BSL game featuring renowned performer David Ellington, along with colourful animations and exciting adventures. The game takes children through story options, creating their own path with each adventure. The project can be used on any internet device, from wherever they choose to play. The Anarchist’s Mobile Library is d/Deaf accessible with BSL and captions. Whilst it is aimed at 6-10 year olds, it is also suitable for younger children.
Like many theatre makers and companies across the UK, Tessa Bide Productions had shows cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and in the last few months has created work for audiences to enjoy from their homes, producing everything from puppetry workshops to this full audio project inspired by their original live touring show of the same name. As live theatre went digital, so did the opportunity to reach more family audiences. The Anarchist’s Mobile Library – a BSL Adventure has been designed for d/Deaf family audiences who are missing out on accessible shows and want a fun theatrical experience from their living room.
The BSL adventure encourages children to engage with literature and the world around them, asking them, what stories will they create? Which stories need new endings? And, how will they write the next chapter of the world? The BSL adventure comes with an accompanying education pack, which includes fun materials for families and teachers to use alongside the game.
Artistic Director Tessa Bide is excited for the project, and hopes it gives families an opportunity to experience fun and accessible theatre, while venues are closed.
Tessa says, “2020 has been a difficult year for us and the theatre industry but we are over the moon that we can create new work and keep engaging with our audiences. I was so pleased to receive funding from The Library Presents which has meant we have been able to make this BSL project for d/Deaf children and their families. The accessibility of our work is so important to me and this has given us the perfect opportunity to reach people who are missing theatre, and want an accessible, theatrical at home experience.”
The Anarchist’s Mobile Library can now be presented in three versions; the original show set in a pop-up retro caravan, as an outdoors community project encouraging storymaking in towns and villages, and now online in an audio and BSL format.
Previously Tessa Bide Productions has only made work for live audiences. The most recent project, BOB was shown during Bristol Old Vic’s Ferment Fortnight in February 2020, a show for young audiences exploring loss and grief. The company’s shows have toured both nationally and internationally, selling out to audiences in India, Europe, and around the UK. Often partnering with charities, TBP’s unique work discusses topical issues and uses captivating puppetry, music, and bold scenery to engage children and family alike. Their shows perform in traditional theatre spaces, town halls and at festivals.