Treasure Island Interview with Associate Director, Emily Howlett - "I hope we surprise you!"

We caught up with Associate Director of Treasure Island, Emily Howlett to get the inside look into rehearsals.

What is your role in the production and what does it involve?

I am Associate Director, which means I have ALL the power and everyone should fear me!! I work alongside the Director, Sarah, and I think it's a really effective way of working.

Although we are essentially following Sarah's vision for the production, it's almost as if each language (the spoken English and the visual communication) has its own director keeping an eye on things and finding the little gems.

If I'm honest, with a production of this size, with all the different aspects to keep on top of, I think some area (e.g. music/sign/etc) would suffer if there was only one director involved as it’s just too much for anyone to keep hold of in their head!

What are you most looking forward to sharing with audiences about this production of Treasure Island?

I hope that we are going to surprise you with some of the artistic choices, some of the lesser known parts of the story and some of the beautiful, rich signed language we've discovered.

You’re back in your home county for this production, are you excited to be back?

Ahh, who doesn't love Derbados? I'm beyond proud of how Derby Theatre keeps going from strength to strength, and it's all down to the fantastic team and even more fantastic community who make up our audiences.

This production will have fully integrated BSL and captioning, what does that mean for our audiences?

It means you need to come along and see it! There will be a few different captioning choices (including captions sent to your handheld devices) and the signing is not limited to British Sign Language but includes elements of Visual Vocabulary and non-spoken storytelling.

Whether you normally watch productions with captions/BSL or not, I think Treasure Island will be a different experience, and hopefully a great one! 

What is your sign name? 

Emily, with your right hand open in front of your face, pull it back and close the fingers to make a wolf snout, with a little twist. It's simply because my last name is Howlett and not at all because I'm wolfish...

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island is a classic work of fiction loved by many. What is one of your favourite classic novels?

I always loved Black Beauty as a child, even though it made me cry! 

If you were a pirate, what do you think your name would be?

What do you mean 'if'? I AM a pirate. That's why I can't tell you my name...

Do you have a favourite pirate? (Real or fictional)

I have a huge soft spot for Cook and Line from Swashbuckle!

Finally, do you have a short message for audiences coming to see Treasure Island?

Come on, landlubbers! Get yourselves down to the docks and set sail with us! Just keep an eye out for that most bloodthirsty buccaneer of all...

Treasure Island is showing from Sat 28 Mar until Sat 11 Apr, book here