Interview With…Fifi Garfield

The actress chatted to Emma Clarendon about working alongside Deafinitely Theatre on Horrible Histories Dreadful Deaf.

How are you feeling about being part of this production? I feel really privileged to be part of this production as I feel that deaf history is a part of me, it’s where I came from, if it wasn’t for the people in deaf history and their campaigns for equality then we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s such a privilege for me to be able to perform their stories. It is also really great to work with my fellow actors Nadeem Islam and Naomi Grey who are fabulous, and I also really enjoy being directed by Paula Garfield.

What was it about the show that made you want to be involved? I had seen Horrible Histories on the TV, read the books, and I couldn’t believe that I was being given the opportunity to be part of the world of Horrible Histories. What even better is that I can be part of Horrible Histories show that talks about my culture and I want to show children the history of deaf people and think it is extremely important for them to have role models from history to look up to. The fact that the show is messy, fun show, with loads of comedic moments really adds to the appeal. Plus Paula always lets us have room to add our own improvisations and silliness.

How does it feel to be working alongside DeafinitelyTheatre again? This will be my third time working with Deafinitely theatre and am loving every moment. I always enjoy working alongside my twin sister Paula, we don’t let our personal relationship get in the way of the production, we are both extremely professional, but we still have lots of fun throughout the rehearsal process. I also love all the other staff at Deafinitely Theatre, they are all so friendly and easy going.

Have you a favourite moment or character in the show? That is such a difficult question as it’s lots of short stories from throughout time, so there are just so many different characters that each of us have to portray. It’s so hard to pick a favourite, however, if I absolutely had to choose, it would probably be Kate Harvey for her truly inspiring story or Queen Victoria because I love having the opportunity to play her. However, the character I like the least is a very easy answer and that would be Alexander Graham Bell.

What kind of characters will audiences get to meet during the show? During the show the audience will get to meet such a range of characters old and young, from ancient times to modern day. They will see positive characters such as Kate Harvey and John Goodricke… And also atrocious characters such as Alexander Graham Bell, but you will have to come and watch the show to find out what he did and to meet the rest of the characters!

 If you had to describe Dreadful Deaf what would you say? The easiest way to describe Deadful Deaf would be chaotic, messy, enjoyable to watch with big belly laughs but most of all I would say it is dreadful…! It’s so hard to think that all the stories are true. I hope when people watch the show it gives everyone food for thought and a new found appreciation for deaf history.

By Emma Clarendon

Horrible Histories Dreadful Deaf embarks on a UK tour from the 29th May.

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