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Thursday, May 30, 2013


(The cast and director of “Listen with your Eyes)

Catalina UnLtd proudly announces that Catalina’s Deaf production Listen with Your Eyes, a comedy play created and performed by Bo Tasker, Darren Rajbal and Ismael Mansoor and directed by Alison Swannack, is going international.

Catalina UnLtd has decided to showcase Listen With Your Eyes by running the play again from tonight (May 30) to June 1 2013 at the Catalina Theatre for those who missed this incredible show last year.

Listen with your Eyes took Catalina’s “Talking Hands”, the first ever Deaf theatre Festival delivered in South Africa, by storm last year. It has been selected for the Festival Clin d’Oeil (European Deaf Theatre Festival) in Reims, France. While showcasing the richness of performance art among the South African Deaf Community, the cast will be exposed to the excitement of the international Deaf Theatre world at a time when this Deaf Cultural Festival celebrates its 10th year.

Festival Clin d’Oeil was created in 2003 (European Year of Disabled Person) and this year will run from July 5 to 7. This multidisciplinary arts festival is aimed at highlighting the richness of the Deaf community. This unique festival has become a reference and an essential event to the global Deaf community as it opens a space for artistic expression and communication which is accessible to both Deaf and Hearing people. In addition to the performance of Listen with your Eyes, the festival has also requested the performance of Rainbow Magic for the street theatre aspect of the Festival, as well as two workshops for children.

Message from Mr David de Keyzer, the Festival director: ‘I always take great pleasure in meeting new artists and that is why we have chosen to invite the cast from Catalina UnLtd. It is very important for us to promote foreign artists in Europe, at Festival Clin d'Oeil. We encourage the exchange of experiences and cultures in which results in constant evolution of our art. I will be amazed by the South African culture now, and the audience can also discover this culture so far from France … We are very pleased with the arrival of these great artists. With more than 6,000 persons attending the Festival in 2011, Clin d’Oeil is today the international central meeting event of Deaf culture.

“Diversity, protection and development of languages are a central concern of the Festival,” de Keyzer continues. “Greater diversity in the public audience is now fortunately possible thanks to the 15 interpreters present, the vélotypie, subtitling and the magnetic loop, which allows meetings and exchanges between deaf and hearing people.”

The play Listen with your Eyes is a Deaf-only comedy based in a science lab. The hearing scientist and his Deaf assistant find communication a big challenge and they set about designing a robot to interpret for them. While designing the robot, the hearing scientist learns a lot about Deaf people’s communication needs but not without loads of humour!

This is the first time ever for a Deaf-led and exclusive South African cast and director to perform on the international stage, which makes history for Catalina UnLtd and South Africa!

The former Artistic Director of Catalina UnLtd, Mr Themi Venturas, says, “We have embraced the Deaf community and deaf artists at Catalina, and it is gratifying to see this international recognition for their efforts. The play is sure to be well received in France, and we are currently looking for funding and sponsors for our talented cast and director.”

The festival is paying 50% of the airfares for four people, Ismael Mansoor, Darren Rajbal, Bo Tasker and Alison Swannack and providing a small fee for the performances.

“All we need to showcase South African Deaf theatre talent in Europe is to find the funders. A reasonable amount for these amazing South Africans to showcase their work on behalf of the city, the Province and the country,” notes Mr Venturas. ”Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.”

Listen With Your Ears runs tonight and tomorrow night (May 30 and 31) at 20h00 and on June 1 at 14h00 and 20h00. To book visit or call the theatre for more information on 031 837 5999 (between 10h00 and 16h00).

For further information or to make a contribution email Alison Swannack at or contact Francis Doherty-Bigara at 072 795 5965. You can also visit or For more information on Festival d’Oeil, visit website