Chocolat

Rinkoo Barpaga

The French sign for Colonisation

Rinkoo’s performance career stems from his interest and performance of his stand up comedy and his previous theatre work has strong roots in traditional Deaf storytelling, though characterisation, mime, visual vernacular and British sign language.

Physically representing characters on stage with his keen observation of humanity. Rinkoo has created two arts council funded solo shows, ‘Am I Funny?’ a solo show written and directed by Rinkoo Barpaga with Dramaturgical support from Janice Connolly (Women & Theatre) And ‘Made In India, directed by Daniel Bailey at Birmingham Rep.

An R&D commission by Unlimited moved Rinkoo into a directorial role, working with two deaf actors to explore the story of ‘Bubble & Butch.’ The success of this R&D highlighted Rinkoo’s ability to create Sensitive and deeply moving work around issues of race, the oppression of deaf sign language users and mental health.

Rinkoo Barpaga wants to align British Sign Language with the creative languages of BAME communities rather than align deafness with disability because people that are Deaf and use British Sign Language are a linguistic minority. Rinkoo Barpaga is part of Slanguages exploring the creative way artists employ and take inspiration from languages such as Arabic, Hindi, Patois, Pidgin, Polish, Punjabi, Russian, Urdu, urban sign languages, and Yoruba.

Rinkoo’s performance career stems from his interest and performance of his stand up comedy and his previous theatre work has strong roots in traditional Deaf storytelling, though characterisation, mime, visual vernacular and British sign language.
Physically representing characters on stage with his keen observation of humanity. Rinkoo has created two arts council funded solo shows, ‘Am I Funny?’ a solo show written and directed by Rinkoo Barpaga with Dramaturgical support from Janice Connolly (Women & Theatre) And ‘Made In India, directed by Daniel Bailey at Birmingham Rep.
An R&D commission by Unlimited moved Rinkoo into a directorial role, working with two deaf actors to explore the story of ‘Bubble & Butch.’ He was supported by The Birmingham REP; with dramaturge and by Daniel Bailey. The success of this R&D highlighted Rinkoo’s ability to create sensitive and deeply moving work around issues of race, the oppression of deaf sign language users and mental health.

Proposal: Chocolat

2 films lumières à propos de Rafael Padilla dit Chocolat.
Rinkoo is a stand up comedian and Urban Sign Language user. He will imitate Chocolate The Clown, use slapstick and clowning to put in a nutshell the history of racism and Deaf oppression and to show the creativity of those who find themselves doubly excluded. Rinkoo identifies with Rafael Padilla’s lie and his desire to play Othello; Rinkoo puts a contemporary spin on the story by collaborating with actor Stephen Collins. Together they will devise a process to make a Deaf led show, that captures how it is now for a Culturally Deaf Indian theatre maker.
Rinkoo Barpaga’s talent & artistic concept has captured the imagination of physical theatre director Corey Campbell, known for Strictly Arts and the play “Freeman”.

Past Work by Rinkoo Barpaga

Bubble and Butch

The man in the West Bromwich Albion shirt gestures with his hands putting a claw like muzzle to his face. Troy is trying to convince Bubble to take the dog.
R & D Bubble & Butch at The Birmingham REP with Deaf Actors Leigh Blake & Michael Bolan
In 2017,  the R&D for ‘Bubble and Butch’  was commissioned by Unlimited with support of The  Birmingham REP and dramaturge by Daniel Bailey.
The synopsis: meet Bubble, a Deaf, 35 year old, obese man with no job, no girlfriend and no life. Bubble, oblivious to his hopelessness and content to play Xbox hour upon hour, is about to meet the answer to his prayers – but not of the human kind. In an unexpected twist of events, Bubble finds himself responsible for a fearless dog Rottweiler named Butcher.
Link to evaluation of Unlimited funded R&D Bubble & Butch

Review by Disability Arts ONLINE

Rinkoo is an Urban Sign Language user, and this provided an opportunity to discuss the history of racism within the Deaf community and to show the creativity of those who found themselves doubly excluded… Barpaga emphasized both his desire to raise awareness and empathy for those who are in Deaf people’s situation.

Made in India Britain

Full video to be uploaded

Made in India Britain by Rinkoo Barpaga STUN Studio @ Z Arts Manchester 30th March 2019

Tickets

Since leaving home in Birmingham, Rinkoo Barpaga has moved around England a lot, determined to find somewhere to settle. Along the way, he has encountered both racism and discrimination, and as a result he has been constantly asking himself the question, “where do I belong?” A British born, Rinkoo discovered at the age of three that not only was he required to tick the box, ‘ethnic minority,’ but also the box, ‘Deaf.’

Made In India Britain is an insight into one man’s life as he tries to fathom out exactly who he is and where he belongs, as he delves deep into past experiences to try and find clues which will ultimately help him realise his true self and a home he can finally call home.

“Rinkoo is one of the most exciting new talents out there, with an original ‘voice’.”

– The Limping Chicken

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK

“Love how you add humour into sad story”

“Rinkoo told his story with an engaging mix of humour, characterisation and first-person narrative. Really Effective, Really Enjoyable.”

“It is visual – flowed from one story to the next. You had a theme running through that linked your experiences”

“Can relate to childhood experience regarding deaf in mainstream school”

“Like the representation of deaf different background experience in Uk”

“Like the movement with body language and facial expression”

Am I Funny

Rinkoo Barbaga Press shot for show, “Am I funny The life and signs of a deaf comedian”

Rinkoo Barpaga is a deaf British Sign Language story teller. In 2012 he spent two weeks immersed in the American deaf story-telling and comedy scene, inspiring him to a new challenge; winning over deaf and hearing mixed audiences. In 2015 he received an Arts Council England Grant to take him back to America to seek his peers’ input on the new material. On returning to the UK, he created a story-telling performance, called,”Am I Funny”.
The marketing of the show was a total success, this was undertaken by Deaf Explorer using deaf ambassadors nationally to promote the shows and social media. The show has been booked and paid for by mac Birmingham, following a sell out first night at the mac. There are also further booking in the pipeline and the wish to make a new show, “Made in England”. A title fired by the audience response to Rinkoo Barpaga telling his story in a public space. The show attracted a large proportion of diverse deaf people. Deaf Explorer think there is a broader art form project to be done involving many South Asian deaf artists. By Rinkoo Barpaga telling his story in a public space he has spotlighted an unseen area of diversity in the Uk. Audiences said, “There is now a need to tell the story of South Asian Deaf living in the Uk and across the World.”

One review said, “Rinkoo Barpaga who has just delivered a sell out tour of his highly political and heart felt story “Am I funny” – Can a deaf comedian be funny in a hearing world; that reveals with great subtly and humour the inequality deaf people experience in the Uk by comparing deaf peoples lives in the USA, specifically in New York and Washington DC – that we learn stands for deaf city.”

The tour of “Am i funny” was eight shows in total, two at Birmingham at the Mac, One at Wolverhampton at the Arena and Three nights in London at The Etcetera theatre and Two nights at First Festival.

Feedback tells us that deaf and hearing audiences enjoyed the show. Our learning about the social media marketing to deaf audiences was that the show was branded a comedy, stand up show, rather than a theatre, spoken word show. There was expectation amongst deaf people that the show was stand up, and that Rinkoo Barpaga was the new John Smith (a popular slap stick deaf comedian who performs at Deaf clubs ) However it is Rinkoos goal to present a more complex and sophisticated comedy for deaf audiences, more equivocal to comedy as it is now for hearing audiences, like US comedian Aziz Ansari.