Cast announced for Easter family production - The Emperor's New Clothes

Cast announced for Easter family production

The Emperor’s New Clothes, a brand-new adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic, and our next BSL integrated and Captioned production perfect for all ages, runs from Friday 1 – Saturday 16 April 2022…. and we are thrilled to announce the cast and creative team.

The Emperor’s New Clothes, produced by Derby Theatre, Hiccup Theatre and Polka Theatre, will be brought vividly to life with a wonderful cast of actors (including musicians, hearing, Deaf and interpreting actors) and will follow on from previous and current BSL integrated and Captioned family productions, the highly acclaimed The Jungle Book in 2019 and our 2021 smash-hit Christmas production of Treasure Island. The Emperor’s New Clothes is a high-energy, fantastically funny show perfect for all ages, filled with live music, a sumptuous set and fabulous costumes.

The cast includes: Becky Barry (Treasure Island and The Jungle Book for Derby Theatre and Romeo & Juliet for Shakespeare’s Globe);, Raffie Julien (Treasure Island for Derby Theatre, Tommy for Ramps on The Moon and Deaf Rave for The Dome); Rishi Manuel (who began acting in the National Youth Musical Theatre in 2008, later graduating from the Guildford School of Acting in 2019, where he performed in plays such as The Love of the Nightingale, The Sea and 3 Winters, and TV credits including The Secret life of Boys for CBBC, 2019); Brooklyn Melvyn (co-director for Deaf Youth Theatre for Solar Bear; translator of songs into BSL, Oliver Twist for Leeds Playhouse, Ramps on the Moon and National Theatre Live, nominated for Best Actor in The Stage Debut Awards 2020, Listening Party for Buzzcut and Happiness Project for Solar Bear; Ines Sampaio (Extra Time for Derby Theatre and has worked in various capacities with companies including Nottingham Playhouse and Hubbub Theatre, and in co-production with Gecko, Nonsuch, Parrabbola, Circus Hub, StoneCrabs, Troupe Concerts, Front Door Theatre and Cherwell Theatre); and Ivan Stott (One Man, Two Guvnors, The Jungle Book, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Gingerbread Man and Little Red for Derby Theatre, composer for numerous Derby Theatre productions, including, more recently, The Emperor’s New Clothes and Extra Time).

Headshots of the new cast for Emperor's New Clothes

The creative team for The Emperor’s New Clothes are: Sarah Brigham (Director); Ivan Stott (Composer); Rachana Jardhav (Set Design); Tim Heywood (Costume Design); Emma Jones (Lighting Design); John Barber (Puppet Director); Aishwarya Deshpande (Movement Direction); Barret Hodgson (Creative Captions); Emily Howlett and Donna Mullings (BSL Consultants); Nur Khairiyah Ramli and Stuart Allen (Producers).

Sarah Brigham (Director and Artistic Director, Derby Theatre) said:
“I am delighted to be directing our next show for families, which includes BSL integration and captioning.  We have assembled an incredibly talented cast of Deaf and Hearing performers, and audiences can be certain of a fast-moving, fun show loaded with live music, great storytelling and fabulous outfits!”

“Hiccup Theatre’s family shows always take you to unexpected places in such imaginative ways” - The Guardian

The Emperor likes nothing more than a fashion parade and you are all invited to ohh and ahh at his talent and eye-popping outfit. Meet the vain Emperor, the pandering advisors who offer uncritical support, and the crowd who fail to tell the truth, preferring lies to be told instead.

Hilarious and heart-warming, magical and musical, The Emperor’s New Clothes is a stylish theatrical treat for all ages. Hiccup Theatre spin music, puppetry, BSL and storytelling into a very special yarn.

Hiccup Theatre have been behind previous, phenomenally popular Christmas shows for young audiences in the Derby Theatre Studio over the past few years – including Jack, Little Red, Goldilocks and The Three Bears and The Gingerbread Man. Hiccup is a theatre company who make work for children, young people and their families and encourage them to discover, question, explore, create, express, laugh, inspire and be inspired.

Polka Theatre is one of the leading theatres in the UK dedicated exclusively to children who produce Inspirational Theatre and Creative Experiences for Children.


All performances will have fully integrated British Sign Language and Captioning.

Relaxed Performance - Saturday 9 April at 2:30pm

Specifically aimed to appeal to audience members who are on the autistic spectrum or have sensory sensitivities, or those who would benefit from a more relaxed atmosphere as regards to making noise or moving around– this performance will be available at reduced capacity.

Live Audio Described Performance: Thursday 14 April,1pm (with Touch Tour available)

Best and recommended view for integrated captioning: seats on rows D-H

Closed Captions: we have a small number of handheld tablets that the captions for The Emperor’s New Clothes can be viewed on (a large screen on stage displaying the captions will also be visible throughout the entire performance). To book one of these tablets please email


Tickets: standard: £15, under 16s: £12, schools and young groups: £10. For Friends of Derby Theatre, members of our Assisted Access Scheme and users with an access requirement tag on their theatre account receive £2 off (selected performances). 

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