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Co-produced with pioneering theatre-maker Kaite O’Reilly, The Beauty Parade told the moving story of the heroic female spies of the Second World War.

In the 1940s, deep in wartime, men were fighting on the front line and women didn’t engage in armed combat. Instead they kept the fires burning, the factories going, and the children fed at home. Or so we were told...

In this production Kaite O’Reilly collaborated with composer Rebecca Applin and performer/visual language expert Sophie Stone to expose one of the most unique operations of the Second World War; whereby ordinary women were plucked from obscurity and parachuted behind enemy lines. he project’s code name? The Beauty Parade.

In a unique collaboration between Deaf and hearing artists, The Beauty Parade incorporated live music, evocative songs, dialogue and visual language and worked inclusively between Deaf and hearing cultures to give a multi-sensory interpretation of this incredible true story.

“A phenomenal tour-de-force...a piece that will, no doubt, be enduringly popular with a huge cross-section of attendees because of its wide-ranging reach and high-quality writing and acting.”

Disability Arts Online

More than 1,400 people saw the show over nine performances in our Weston Studio between 5 - 14 March 2020.

The Beauty Parade achieved extensive coverage of more than 30 articles in print, online and broadcast media including the Guardian, Western Mail, Radio Cardiff and Buzz magazine.

“The Beauty Parade has been an extraordinary project. I am extremely proud of the production which draws on amazing female stories previously hidden from history. It is, however, the pioneering approach taken by the creative team that has been most inspiring and interesting. This has been a real collaboration between Deaf and hearing artists, an intercultural experience like none I have ever had before.”

Emma Evans, Producer

Read a blog about the making of The Beauty Parade by writer and director, Kaite O’Reilly and our Artistic Director, Graeme Farrow.