Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell
Silence looks at the real-life characters of AG Bell, his wife and his family. Born in Scotland and brought to Canada because his parents wanted to improve his ill health, Alexander Graham Bell was pushed into the family obsession – education for the deaf. A man with a very curious mind, while in Boston Bell found himself staying up nights and forgetting to eat while he tinkered with his latest invention.
One of the students he tutored during the day was an upper class girl, the daughter of a patent lawyer, who had become deaf as a child due to illness. Few people knew of her disability, as her speech was exceptional. However, she was sent to Bell to improve her performance. Mabel fell in love with her socially awkward, sometimes unkempt tutor.
The play will explore the idea of what constitutes ‘real communication’ between individuals. Bell invented a device that has connected people all over the world in a way he could never have foreseen. However, this device was of little use to him, as he could not use it to communicate with either his wife or his mother, who were both deaf.
This play will be a larger cast, larger stage play. I am interested in marrying a dynamic stage picture, an interesting visual vocabulary, with strong narrative. There will be beautiful things to look at. The audience’s imagination will be sparked. Sound and light will play a big part in how this story is realized.
Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell was commissioned by Theatre Calgary. and will premiere at The Grand Theatre in London in January 2018, directed by Peter Hinton.