How To Speak Caveman

The importance of friendship and the power of communication connect in one joyous, celebratory – and noisy – whole in this vibrant and surprising new version of family favourite Stig of the Dump, which has integrated BSL (British Sign Language) throughout.  

And connection is at the heart of the fantastical tale surrounding a boy and a caveman which has captivated generations of children. Barney and Stig may come from very different backgrounds – and different moments in time – but they find common ground in imaginative and unique fashion.

Spoken word is blended with sign language, visual vernacular, physical theatre, mime, music and percussion (played by a live junkyard band) to create a style of playful and exuberant storytelling which is immediately accessible to everyone be they three or 103, Deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing. 

Barney, the young Deaf hero of our story, has learned – in writer Jessica Swale’s words – to be “an expert communicator” and discovers with delight that so too is the titular Stig. And as Jessica points out: “The lovely thing for us is it means the audience gets to learn Stig’s language alongside Barney’s. Barney doesn’t know any of Stig’s signs and symbols and has to learn them over the course of the play. So, we also get to understand ‘caveman’, which is joyful.”

Want to know more? Read an interview with Harry Jardine, director of Stig of the Dump.