What More? Productions presents

Sumida River in Sign Language

By Kanze Motomasa
Devised by the company from a Deaf perspective and based on the Japanese Noh play Sumidagawa

Music and Direction by Verity Lane

A mother meets a ferryman on the banks of Sumida River. He is waiting to take the last passengers across the water. She is looking for her lost son. Their boat carries them into the world of the ghost child.

Poignancy and comedy mix in a shifting kaleidoscope of sign languages and spoken word, where Deaf performers are played like musical instruments, where drums beat to the sound of speech and song, where silence is as deep as the world.

Verity Lane’s scintillating production is a re-imagining of a 650-year-old Japanese Noh (mask) play Sumidagawa which inspired Benjamin Britten to compose his musical parable Curlew River. It stars Chisato Minamimura as the Mother and Brian Duffy as the Ferryman, with percussive music and haunting shadow play.

Rave for us, mad Miyako woman, rave and entertain us! If you don’t rave and dance, I won’t let you on board!

Sumida River in Sign Language is part of Grimeborn Opera Festival 2022. Explore the full programme →

The health and wellbeing of our audiences is an absolute priority for us. Please have a read of the measures we’ve put in place to keep you safe.

  • Running time: 60 minutes (no interval)
  • Includes loud noises
  • Suitable for 16+
  • Interpreted in English