Aims of the R & D:
Rinkoo Barpaga will tell the story of Bubble and Butch and reveal the vulnerability of young deaf people. The bullying and discrimination stops when Bubble is asked to look after a mean looking dog called Butch. The dog is a metaphor for Bubbles access, acting like a superhero at every encounter in the hearing world. Butch transforms Bubbles life for the better.

Man on right holds up hands He is directing two men in a room, with two screens, the man in the far left has his hands in his pockets, the man on his right clutches two full shopping bags
Rinkoo Barpaga directs Michael Boland & Leigh Blake


Download Rinkoo Barpaga Film Audio Description


Second phase of R & D in two parts, in January 2018 film shoot in West Bromwich with Film mentor Justin Edgar of 104 Films and ArkMedia based in Birmingham. The films edited by Phil Arkinstall in February.

Three men stand, they wrapped up in coats. They are using a camera on a tripod.
Justin Edgar 104 Films supports Rinkoo Barpaga with Filming in West Bromwich

Film Actors:

  • Michael Boland
  • Sam Cole
  • Adam Breeze
  • Yann Charlot
  • Kharis Smith
  • Brandon Daniel

Sharing Event 22 March 2018
Poster for Sharing of R & D at Birmingham REP, picture has young man, looks like he does not do exercise. He is big, he sit on park bench with a small dog, On right is portrait of writer directer Rinkoo Barpaga

In February the sharing event on 23 March was promoted using flyer, social media, and email, including Mailchimp. Tickets available on Eventbrite in February, by mid March only 4 tickets available out of 90 available, Three presentations at 4 pm, 7 pm and 8.30 pm.

Attended by Industry experts:

Tessa Walker, associate director at Birmingham REP, told Rinkoo Barpaga that show Brilliant, Rinkoo will be meeting with Daniel Bailey and Tessa Walker in coming months to discuss future of Bubble and Butch.

Kate Hall of Jumped Up Theatre, wants to support further development of Bubble and Butch, and bring show to Peterborough, Kate is also part of a Touring network.

Attenborough Arts Centre would like to bring Bubble and Butch to Leicester

Clare Marshall – Arts Council England Relationship Manager for Theatre and Dance (East Midlands, former programmer at mac,  wants to see the production of Bubble & Butch

Amy Sutters – Battersea Arts Centre – Producing Assistant (Cook Up & BAC Moving Museum) was unable to attend requested video 

Ruby Glaskin Creative Producer Derby Theatre requested video, however she has left company will send to Producer Emily Coleman and Assistant Producer Daniel Nicholas and to Ruby’s email

. The young man known as Bubble is in his flat, he wears a West Bromwich Albion football shirt, he opens the door and gestures with his hand. He is trying to stop the dog entering his flat
Leigh Blake (Troy) Beefy (Butch) & Michael Boland (Bubble)

Birmingham REP March 15 – 22 R & D

Two men sit in conversation in the seats where an audience sits
Rinkoo Barpaga & Daniel Bailey at the Birmingham REP *

Creative team:

  • Composer/sound design by Chris Bartholomew
  • Stage manager Anna Lambert, who brought her invaluable knowledge and experience of working at Birmingham REP
  • Actors: Michael Boland & Leigh BlakeLeigh brought Urban Sign Language to the stage.
  • Dramaturge: Birmingham REP’s Daniel Bailey
  • BSL Interpreters and Subtitles: Rachael Veazey & Emma Dunleavy
  • Producers Alan McLean & Rachael Veazey (Deaf Explorer)

Rinkoo Bargaga evaluates the key aims of the R & D

Rinkoo answers questions that evaluate the aims that were set out in the agreement with Unlimited.  The second half of the R & D for Bubble of Butch focused on creating the first few scenes of the play, and the professional development of Rinkoo Barpaga as a new and exciting theatre maker.




Question? Do you think you have developed a unique and personal style:




Question? How did the filmmaking help storytelling ?
Question? What did the audiences think of the filmmaking integrated with theatre?




Question? What did you do with the film script in the studio? 




Question? How did the script get used on the shoot in West Bromwich ?




Question? What was useful about the storyboard or not?




Question? Was working with the dog what you expected?



Question?  What was it like working with actors who had all the language skills and none of the acting skills?



Question? Did you like the surtitles and translation of urban sign language? 



Question? Did you want to explore audio description? 



Question? Was there any unexpected outcomes  R & D at Birmingham REP?



Question: Did the R & D bring anything unexpected to your creative process?

Feedback from Audience

 The man has a cap on his head. The peak of the cap is on the back of his head. The man gestures with his hands. He is communicating the character of Troy and uses urban sign language.
Troy (Leigh Blake) persuades Bubble (Michael Boland) to take Butch (Beefy)

Rinkoo Barpaga asked audiences to complete evaluations forms, here are quotes. They convey that integrating theatre and film a very positive experience for deaf audiences.  Rinkoo proposed that Bubble and Butch used Film as this is very popular with deaf audiences and using deaf actors because they very popular with deaf audiences. The feedback indicates strongly that this was an excellent way to bring deaf audiences to the theatre. Using Urban Sign Language also brought a young deaf diverse (Indian, Black and Pakistani) audience all were new to the theatre.

Feedback mainly by Deaf people who use British Sign language based in Midlands.

On Left prop of flashing light for deaf. It is a door bell, in right of picture a young audience in dark watching a performance
Audience and prop of flashing light for door bell for when Troy knocks on Bubble’s door
  • I thought it was a great show
  • Film and theatre integration worked well
  • Short but it gave a powerful message
  • Great acting
  • Mixture of filming was also a great idea
  • It was so fantastic and thank you  enjoy
  • Fab please develop film and theatre
  • Like portraying depression, Deaf people need hearing community to realise this
  • Hope it goes to film
  • Acting fab
  • Think so good
  • Really enjoyed the piece and can’t wait to see where it’s taken next
  • Really nice funny moments, but also really enjoyed the most serious moments, dealing with isolation, Really moving as well
  • Great to see all deaf cast on stage
  • More representation is needed on stage of Deaf actors
  • Rinkoo did some really good work with these actors, you can tell they were untrained
  • It would be interesting to explore more integration with film while acting is taking place on stage
  • Opening scene was effective, has an introduction to the isolation.
  • Perhaps could have explored more and the differences once the dog was there too?
  • Overall enjoyable and I would definitely watch a full-length production
  • First start of the show it was a bit lost/slow but in the end I got it, It’s good way to show depression or lonely et cetera, but overall it was very clear to understand everything  – Well done you and all other team
  • Please grow and get your dream, keep it up
  • I love the idea you get new raw faces to get involved
  • Great start I really have faith for your future
  • I thought it was really clear.
  • Simple story but so affective!
  • Loved the mix of film and theatre,
  • The captions were less conspicuous that way as well I enjoyed watching and I’m excited to see where it goes!
  • It’s good show – I like to know what happens with dog
  • Well done
  • Excellent can’t wait to opening-night
  • Strong sense of theme: Deafness/loneliness
  • Very still performance – quiet – Draws you in
    Got a sense of being real – involving local people and environment
    At this stage difficult to see where the storyline could expand as it does have a beginning middle and works as a small performance
  • Film and drama could be used to support further discussion re-mental health within schools or therapeutic settings
    the dog is a puppet ( a dalmation) trying to get to know Bubble, in picture is women in red holding puppet.
    Leigh Blake explores puppets
  • Some of the puppetry with the dog was obscured by the table, which was a shame
  • Well done to all involved
  • Rather slow start but much better when bubble starts acting
  • I would like to know what bubble is thinking on the settee
  • So we see the subtitle of what bubble is thinking also how he feels while he is depressed
  • I thought it was a unique show so fresh and tackle fresh issues like deaf, mental health, and obesity
  • Good raise awareness and reflect true what happened in society
  • Would love see development and more on the issues
  • I love the idea dog involved the show it like therapy
  • Also cinematic and theatre work well, would love to see more in the future
  • Well done great director, set and actor
  • Good acting cast
  • simple story wish to see more acting from beefy good direction lead
  • Loved the film and live combo
  • I would like to see the full production, really interesting use of film in the production
  • I think you could take advantage of this more to explore loneliness isolation in the deaf community if your camera point of view POV shot was from the dog, observing the central characters – you could find a real intimacy through the use of film in the production – well done
  • Deaf person asked for a performance that is understood by both parties deaf and hearing
  • Need visual action by both parties that every audience will understand need to merge, not just spoken, Subtitled was perfect example
  • Pretty good
  • Keep up the good work

Actors Feedback



Leigh Blake describes use of Urban Sign Language & character Troy



Mike Boland describes learning in the R & D week at Birmingham REP

 A photo of the puppet dog, held by Troy trying to get to know Bubble the dog looks cute and life like.
Leigh Blake learns about using puppets *


Photos by Graeme Braidwood * Photo by Alan McLean



Credits Bubble & Butch