‘You don’t need to be funny!’: the art of performing standup in sign language

Comedy

‘You don’t need to be funny!’: the art of performing standup in sign language

How do you translate a pun into an entirely different language on the fly? What do you do when there is simply no sign for a joke?

‘I loved having Kirri there’ … comedian Lizzy Hoo with Auslan interpreter Kirri Dangerfield. Photograph: Auslan Stage Left

‘I loved having Kirri there’ … comedian Lizzy Hoo with Auslan interpreter Kirri Dangerfield. Photograph: Auslan Stage Left

Tim Byrne

Mon 13 Jun 2022 13.30 EDTLast modified on Mon 13 Jun 2022 21.08 EDT

Many of us have come to associate sign language with serious moments, from emergency announcements to natural disaster updates. During the pandemic, the regular sight of Auslan interpreters skilfully signing at press conferences lead to renewed interest in the language that bridges the deaf community and the hearing world. It’s important work, but such a view also overlooks the humour and levity of deaf people, who have been as desperate as the rest of us to shake off the gloom.

Over the last couple of months, a dedicated team of Auslan interpreters have been working at Australia’s many comedy festivals in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. While many in [...]

Read article at theguardian.com

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