Ballywillan includes signed song in upcoming production of Joseph

Portrush’s Ballywillan Drama Group are celebrating their 70th birthday this Easter with a very special version of a much loved musical.

Returning to Portrush Town Hall, where their first production was staged in 1952, the group will stage a concert version of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ from April 19 - 23.

And, the Group is using this special 70th birthday event to help raise awareness of sign language for the deaf community in Northern Ireland.

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Adam Goudy, who is playing Joseph, explains: “As a group we have always striven to deliver the best quality of performances.

Ballywillan presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in Portrush Town Hall from April 19-23

“With theatres reopening and the this being the group’s 70th year, it is a joy to perform this show and reach out to wider audiences within the local area.

“What has been unique for this concert, we have added something special.

“Over Lent and during my time in isolation I began to learn BSL (British Sign Language).

“My girlfriend Lauren, who is a Teacher of the Deaf within the Sensory Service, had been teaching me some BSL, and has a real passion for raising awareness and supporting the deaf community through her work.

Adam Goudy who is playing Joseph

“Through gradual learning of BSL, and during a conversation, an idea from the creative team of Ballywillan was to incorporate some BSL in one of the songs of our show.

“It has been a lovely, yet challenging experience, which the cast has enjoyed within the rehearsal process thus far.

“With recent exposure with the likes of deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis winning last season’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, the profile of people in the deaf community being positively recognised has been encouraging in recent times.

“In the UK, the BSL Bill is currently passing through parliament however it is still a work in progress for Northern Ireland.

Joseph (Adam Goudy centre) with Pharaoh (Stevie Black left) and some of Joseph's brothers (Patrick Connor, Jack Graham, Conor McColgan and Tom Johnston)

“BDG acknowledges this and we are happy to use this opportunity to support and raise awareness of sign langauge for the deaf community in Northern Ireland.”

Booking is now open for ‘Joseph’ but many shows are already selling fast.

To secure tickets for this family favourite of a musical go to www.ballywillan.com

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