Photo of Donna Ruane by Alain Beity BSL Photography Project
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image of Terry Ruane.In the late 1990's Terry Ruane, a Deaf theatregoer found himself regularly attending Sign Language Interpreted Performances at London venues such as the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Donmar Warehouse and the Almeida. At the same time he became aware that  Sign Language users were being denied access to the most popular West End shows as hardly any were interpreted. Signaway (a company he ran with Donna Ruane) was already providing interpreted performances in the regions and an approach was made to the Society of London Theatre and with funding from the Arts Council of England, a project was set up in year 2000 which saw Interpreters like Mary Connell, Russ Alderssson and Donna Ruane interpreting a whole range of Theatre shows at venues ranging from the Barbican to the London Palladium.

The relationship between Signaway and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) image of SOLT logo. continued with
Sign Language interpreting being provided at the prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards and free tickets
being made available at this event.  In 2004 Signaway re-branded as THEATRESIGN, a name which
clearly shows what the company's work is all about. Theatresign continues to interpret the Olivier Awards
which in 2012 are being presented at the Royal Opera House and at Covent Garden Piazza.

THEATRESIGN's mission is to make accessible the most popular West End shows chosen by Sign Language users.  Wherever possible half price seats are made available and these interpreted shows usually take place on a Saturday matinee, again by popular demand to enable people to travel from outside London.  Not surprisingly, nearly all the requests received are for the big West End musicals and the sell-out nature of these shows means that interpreted performances often have to be scheduled a whole year in advance as happens with shows like Mamma Mia! and The Lion King which along with other shows like Chicago and We Will Rock You have been signed for ten years or more. Shows like Billy Elliot have given signed workshops for deaf children and outside London the Chuchill Theatre at Bromley has given workshops for High School Musical and pantomime workshops two years running.

THEATRESIGN's audiences for West End shows come from as far as Newcastle and Devon as well as tourists from as far afied as Japan and the USA. The company now runs training workshops for Sign language Interpreters who want to specialise in Theatre Interpreting - Interpreters from all over the country and even as far away as Spain have attended these courses to learn about our new approach to Theatre Interpreting.These courses are approved by ASLI, the Association of Sign Language Interpreters as part of their commitment to CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for Sign Language Interpreters. These courses are built around West End shows like The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.Theatresign has also provided a series of workshops for Interpreters in Hungary and was instrumental in getting theatre interpreting to develop in that country.

Outside the West End, THEATRESIGN also provides Theatre Interpreters to the Rose Theatre Kingston, Churchill Theatre Bromley, Hackney Empire, Cliffs Pavilion Southend and The Hawth at Crawley, Theatre Royal Nottingham and the Beck Theatre at Hayes.Disney Theatrical Productions have chosen Theatresign to interpret the National Tour of The Lion King which currently runs until 2013.

Welcome to THEATRESIGN!  We hope you will enjoy browsing through our pages and seeing what exciting shows are currently on offer!



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