Mathilda and the Orange Balloon

Adam Jay-Price and Mia Ward as storytellers in Mathilda and the Orange Balloon

Adam Jay-Price and Mia Ward as storytellers in Mathilda and the Orange Balloon

The DH Ensemble & Jess Kaufman present

Adapted from the book MATHILDA AND THE ORANGE BALLOON © 2010

How can a small sheep become a big orange balloon?

With a lot of imagination and determination - anything is possible! 

 Mathilda is a little grey sheep in a little grey world. Her herd is content to munch clovers, but Mathilda’s mind is full of questions. When an orange balloon makes a surprise appearance on the farm, Mathilda discovers there is more to who she is than being a grey sheep!

As she explores what it means to be orange, Mathilda leads us all on a journey of self-discovery and the joys of self-expression. With a diverse cast of Deaf and hearing actors, Mathilda’s tactile, fully realised world is welcoming and fully accessible to Deaf and hearing children and families through the use of spoken English, sign language, and creative captions and animation.

The show is suitable for children aged 3-8 and their families.

Mathilda and the Orange Balloon is an international collaboration being produced with US Artist Jess Kaufman based on the popular children’s book by Randall de Sève.

The Research & Development period was supported by Sheffield Theatres / Ramps on the Moon. Our 2019 tour is supported by Arts Council England and the lovely generous individuals who donated through our crowdfunding campaign.

Press contact: E:, W:

2019 Tour Dates

Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre London

15th February (schools only) 16th February (open to the public)


Cambridge Junction

24th February 11.30am and 2.30pm


New Wolsey, Ipswich

2nd March, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm


New Wolsey Theatre’s British Sign Language video for Mathilda and the Orange Balloon

Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury

5th March


Tickets on sale soon - check

Nottingham Playhouse

11th May

Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester

12th May

Tickets on sale soon - check

Touchbase Pears, Birmingham

25th May

Tickets on sale soon - check

Macbeth @ The National Studio RnD

Distilled to the story of its two central characters, our Macbeth is the story of a couple’s journey through shared ambition into isolation, madness and torment. It is claustrophobic and forensic with barely room to breathe. 

There are four performers, two (one Deaf and one hearing) playing each role. We are most interested in finding theatrical languages, physical and vocal, signed and spoken, to crack open the inner world of each character and their relationship with themselves and one another.

The DH Ensemble’s development of Macbeth has been supported by Arts Council England, National Theatre Studio, The Barbican / The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award, New Wolsey Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Poplar Union.

We hope to create the full production in 2019.

Creative team:

Macbeth - Oliver Alvin-Wilson & Stephen Collins (also developed with Sandy Grierson)

Lady Macbeth- Sophie Stone & Erin Siobhan Hutching (also developed with Vilma Jackson)

Director - Jennifer K. Bates

Lighting Designer - Rachel Sampley (also developed with Clancy Flynn)

British Sign Language / Visual Vernacular Consultant - Brian Duffy

Shakespeare Consultant / Dramaturg - Ben Spiller (1623 Theatre Company)

Producers - Erin Siobhan Hutching & Jennifer K. Bates

Special thanks to sign language interpreters Clare Edwards, Susan Booth, Naomi Bottrill, Naomi Gray, Kate Furby, Beverley Wilson

DHE awarded R&D by Sheffield Theatres for New Children's Show


The DH Ensemble is pleased to announce we have been awarded an R&D opportunity by Sheffield Theatres. We are embarking on two weeks of Research and Development for our new show, an adaptation of the children's book Mathilda and the Orange Balloon, suitable for children aged 3 to 8 and those young at heart. We are collaborating with writer/dramaturg Jess Kaufman to develop this show. 

Ben Wilson, Agent for Change at Sheffield Theatres: "This project is run as part of Ramps On The Moon. Ramps On The Moon is a nationwide project run by 6 theatres around England of which we at Sheffield Theatres is one. The aim of Ramps is to make positive, long term changes to how these 6 venues think about access and dis ability. My role here at Sheffield Theatres is to try and inspire and instigate that change."

We are honoured to have been chosen for this opportunity and excited about developing our relationship with Sheffield Theatres.