Watermill Theatre, Newbury – until 5 November 2022
Based on the 2002 book by Michael Morpurgo and adapted by Tatty Hennessy, The Sleeping Sword tells the story of the Arthurian legend-obsessed Bun, who has read the story many times. Swept up by the magic of Merlin and the innocence of young Arthur removing Excalibur from the stone.
Bun (Aarian Mehrabani) knows every inch of the small Island of Bryher where he lives with his Father played by visually impaired actor (Kirsty Ferriggi). After a diving accident off the jetty, he loses his sight and is left to adapt to a world he can no longer see. With his friend Anna (Tika Mu’tamir) he learns to map the Island differently and enjoy life once again.
Bun and Anna unknowingly meet Merlin in the guise of a traveller on the Island for the Summer Solstice and are plunged into an unforgettable adventure.
Each performance will be fully captioned with integrated audio and sound effects performed by the cast to enable audience members who are blind, visually impaired and deaf to enjoy all the explorations without missing any of the action. Just be prepared to bring your best seagull impression with you!
The parcels Bun’s new teacher Mrs Parsons, sends him from the mainland were fascinating. I had no idea that a speaking compass existed or that you could get a large pen-style object that told you what an object is when you point it at it. All of these aids make life hopefully feel more included in the world they live in.
I would have liked to have known more about how being blind made Bun honestly feel and how he now saw the world. How much of his friends and Dad he could see. Were they visible in a block, fuzzy or not at all?
The cast of three brings the Island to life through the adventures and sound effects brilliantly. Bun’s bed becomes his Dad’s boat on a couple of occasions, which I dare say many audience members can relate to from childhood, creating an imaginative world from your bed as you transport your mind somewhere else.
Director Lucy Jackson successfully brings together friendship, hope, disaster and an intriguing twist on the famous Arthurian legend, through the eyes of Bun’s imagination and adventures to the stage. Creating a world for adults and children to transport to and enjoy together.
For more information on this play and future performances coming to The Watermill Theatre please use the link below.
Photo credit Mark Senior.