Performance Art



AH photo (5 of 21)





Writer & Director - Paul Miller
Company – Rory Studio
Website –


Producer - Nicole Vivien Watson
Company - Surface Area Dance Theatre
Website -

The Gingerbread Witch landscape with text copy 3
Director: Paul Miller
Dramature: Harry Jardine
HoH/deaf Actress: Evie Waddell
Hearing Actress: Sarah Coyne
Choreographer: Alicia Meehan
Musician: Sarah Fisher
Animator: Paul Miller
Performance in BSL: Paul Miller
Witch Mask: Kim McDermottroe
Witch Voiceover: Ruth Brickland
Costume: Maddy Williamson
Photography and Film by Neil Johnson
Producer: Surface Area Dance Theatre & Moving Art Management
Funding: Art Council England, Hadrian Trust & Unity Theatre

Exploring the Impact of the Pandemic on the Deaf and Disabled Community

On January 9th, Arts Council England awarded me funding for the "Developing Your Creative Practice" project. This initiative involves collaborating with four professional deaf artists at The Live Theatre. Throughout the week, we will work together to create compelling artistic pieces that shed light on the effects of the pandemic on the deaf and disabled community. Our communication will be facilitated through various mediums, including drama, dance, VV sign, BSL poetry, and storytelling.

Director: Paul Miller

Producer: Nicole Vivien Watson

Support: Harry Jardine

Special thanks to Arts Council England and The Live Theatre for their invaluable support.

5Exp Covid
36Exp Covid
9Exp Covid


Chris Fonseca

Brian Duffy

David Ellington

Raffle Juline

41Exp Covid

This was a commission by Surface Area Dance Theatre for me to lead a community-based theatre project in honor of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee. We focused on Queen Alexandra, who had a special connection with the deaf community and a keen interest in their welfare. In collaboration, we developed a small script that took us back to 1901, exploring Queen Alexandra's legacy. An intriguing aspect we incorporated was her love for fashion, which led to the creation of the 'choker' due to a scar on her neck. This fashion accessory quickly gained popularity among society.

Within the story, our aim was to portray Queen Alexandra presenting Queen Elizabeth with a choker as a meaningful gift from the deaf community, symbolizing the Jubilee celebration.

The community cast consisted of local deaf individuals who had no previous acting experience. Every Friday for six weeks, I traveled to Bradford to work with the group, focusing on script development. Additionally, each member crafted their own chokers to incorporate into their costumes.

The group displayed immense dedication and should take pride in their accomplishments. The final performance was filmed and shared on social media, aligning with the Queen's celebrations.

By Paul Miller 2019-55

October 2019

The Gingerbread Witch — Theatre Production

The production of The Gingerbread Witch (from The Monster Chronicles book series) was transformed into a full theatre production at Northern Stage. It was an original piece designed to be creative and to showcase different artistic mediums and language. With a team of deaf and hearing performers, we were able to provide English and BSL simultaneously to an audience without the use of interpreters. The show was brought to life with dance, acting, live music, and award-wining animation - making this a fully inclusive performance.

With thanks to Arts Council England, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust and Northern Stage.

Director * Paul Miller

Producer * Nicole Vivian Watson

Live original music * Brendan Murphy

Choreographer * Alicia Meehan

Animator * Paul Miller

Aurora * Sarah Coyne

Anders * Claire Wetherall

By Paul Miller 2019-38

The Magical Gloves

Anders and Aurora stumble across an enchanted object and find themselves in the middle of an adventure!

Young twins, Anders (who is deaf) and Aurora (who is hearing) share a very special bond. They live in an old and mystical Scottish village called Oban, where people are kind and friendly but have very little to spare.
Children have been mysteriously disappearing from the village for many years, until one day, Anders and Aurora stumble across an enchanted object, and find themselves in the middle of an adventure… Can they solve the riddle of the missing children? And will the strength of their bond defy the odds?

By Paul Miller 2019-13

Anders & Aurora

By Paul Miller 2019-59

The Gingerbread Witch

By Paul Miller 2019-49

Brendan Murphy

An Animation showreel for The Gingerbread Witch Theatre backdrop using projector in the background.

Absolute love it! Definitely recommended it to everyone, both deaf and hearing. Amazingly visual, movement, feeling the music and storyline. Hope it will go on touring soon!! I witnessed the children (and parents/family) actually enjoyed the show - it makes them feel so welcome to be involved the show throughout shouting, jumps with keen and enjoy to watch the story. Highly recommended!!

EJ Raymond.

Alexander loved seeing The Gingerbread Witch show it was a great performance. Well done to all who involved. 

Lynsey Kennedy Teacher of the Deaf

Excellent!! My daughter liked the show! Well done Paul. Keep up the good work.

Ant Smanty

Fabulous dancers, lovely costumes, colourful animation created an amazing show. Enjoyed the show.

Julie Stephenson Becoming Visible 


Great use of both languages, BSL and English. As a BSL user I can understand the whole story. All cast and crews were highly talented. Looking forward to see more works from them.

Giles Bowman ITV Sign Post

We really enjoyed the Gingerbread Witch! My son, Simon enjoyed watching the guy with the instruments, and Olivia said “it was even better than the book” - high praise indeed as she must have read the book 100 times! I thought it was really well thought through and included both d/Deaf and hearing people. It was very cleverly designed to include the whole audience. It’s very easy to forget the hearing people when designing a performance for the d/Deaf, but you totally nailed it

Sarah Laidler Laidler's Hearing Care Durham

Scene 6

The Witch Gate

Scene 10

Full of cakes!

Scene 11

Spooky Hallway!

Hand in Hand by Paul Miller 2019

March 2019

Hand In Hand

Hand in Hand was a collaborative project with choreographer Chisato Minamimura. The project brought together 20 community participants to join a dynamic week of creative dance activities.

With support from Arts Council England and thanks to Surface Area Dance Theatre

Producers * Paul Miller & Nicole Vivian Watson

Visual artist * Graham Patterson

Sound artist * Tom White

Choreographer * Chisato Minamimura

Hand in Hand by Paul Miller 2019
Hand in Hand by Paul Miller 2019

July 2018

What Am I Worth?

As part of Sunderland’s Tall Ships event, Extraordinary Bodies invited a local community cast with diverse abilities, along with professional circus artists, to come together and take part in their performance of What Am I Worth? The community cast spent their time creating and performing live throughout the Tall Ships event.

Extraordinary Bodies website

Theatre Production of The Gingerbread Witch from The Monster Chronicles.


June 2018

The Gingerbread Witch – Research & Development

The story of The Gingerbread Witch (from The Monster Chronicles book series) has been funded for the first time to explore and develop the book title into a theatre production with two weeks of rehearsals, and with a team of deaf and hearing performers. We brought together the first 20 minutes of the production, after which a scratch night in collaboration with Gosforth Civic Theatre was formed to showcase our twenty minute piece to an audience of deaf and hearing people. As part of the funding, we also supplied a number of workshops following the performance, open for audience members and others to participate.

With support from Arts Council England and thanks to Gosforth Civic Theatre.

Director * Paul Miller

Producer * Nicole Vivian Watson

Live original music * Brendan Murphy

Video Recording * Paul Miller

Aurora * Vilma Jackson

Anders * Joel Daniel


Japanese Theare of the Deaf

May 2017

Japanese Theatre of the Deaf

I was fortunate to complete a period of intensive research, development and international exchange with the Japanese Theatre of the Deaf (JTD) in Tokyo. My time in Japan was filled with language and performances classes. I taught one week’s worth of workshops based on my story of The Gingerbread Witch - ending with a sharing to their local community. Towards the end of my time with JTD, I was gifted with the opportunity to visit Noh, where I experienced an outstanding evening of classical dance-drama in the traditional Japanese way.

I was also especially lucky to meet Yoshito Ohno, an international Butoh dancer, and Tenko Ima, another acclaimed veteran of Butoh dance from Kyoto. I have never witnessed anything like this style of dance before, and found it inspiring and very dark. Finally, I was also exposed to the life of a Geisha and had the opportunity to speak to the women who performed for us and served us traditional food and drink. Overall, this journey for me was inspirational.

With support from Arts Council England and the British Council

by Paul Miller 2017

Where our Roots are Planted

October 2017

Where Our Roots Are Planted

In this collaborative week of dynamic dance, award wining deaf dance artist Antoine Hunter and his colleague Zahna Simon, both from San Francisco, invited 18 community participants to create the story, ‘Where our Roots are Planted’ at the iconic BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

With support from Arts Council England and thanks to Surface Area Dance Theatre

Producers * Paul Miller & Nicole Vivian Watson

Choreographer * Antoine Hunter

Choreographer * Zahna Simon

Drummer * Paul Miller

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Surface Area 10th Anniversary

On 10th June 2017 Surface Area Dance Theatre's 10th Anniversary. This took place at Dance City in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. A performance which I anticipated in the opening ceremony, and where I translated a English poem into British Sign Language.

Butoh Research & Development

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In 29th May - 9th June 2017 I completed my new theatre script "The Gingerbread Witch”. During my time writing the script, I became familiar with the concept of Butoh Dance, and recently while attending a business trip to Japan; I decided to include a visit to see a Butoh performance in its homeland. I was completely inspired and fell in love with the concept of using this unique style of dance in my theatre production - specifically to the witch character.

Sometime later, I came in contact with Vangeline France from New York City - the founder of New York Butoh Institute. I invited her to come to the UK and collaborate with me on my new production. Vangeline has kindly spent two weeks here in the UK, working hard training me in the art of Butoh dance. Together we have been creating the gingerbread witch character, and it has been an interesting learning curve for me, but also a lot of fun. I am immensely grateful for her support - not only to the physicality of the job but also towards developing my characters and bring them to life.


April 2017


Auricular was a multidisciplinary performance which contained influences of British Sign Language (BSL) and, as part of the performance, a short poem titled: ‘Where is the Full Moon’ was performed in BSL. The piece predominantly included three professional dancers who worked alongside one another creating a visual performance inspired by the language.

Auricular then toured the North East of England and London, starting at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. This was followed by a visit to Berwick-upon-Tweed, to the Gymnasium Gallery at Berwick Visual Arts. The tour concluded at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

Chronicle live whats on arts culture news

With Support from Arts Council England and thanks to Surface Area Dance Theatre

Choreographer & dancer * Nicole Vivian Watson

Dancer * Racheal Birch

Dancer * Molly Ertel

Performer * Paul Miller

Chronicle live whats on arts culture news

APorforming (3 of 2)
APorforming (2 of 2)

Exploring Lindisfarne

March 2017

Exploring Lindisfarne

This was an opportunity for four like-minded professionals to spend two weeks exploring the Viking history of the Holy Island. Each artist explored and created ideas to then share paintings, signed poems and short performances with an audience.

With support from and thanks too Arts Council England

Producers * Nicole Vivian Watson & Janet Alexander

Artist * Sarah O’Dowd

Performer * Janet Alexander

Performer * Paul Miller

Theatre Gothrella

Gothrella London (60 of 61)

February 2015

Gothrella Research and Development

Gothrella’s journey started in 2014, after receiving an Arts Award Grant from Arts Council England. This support enabled the successful creation and development of the story of ‘Gothrella’, a theatre piece that reflects my life experiences as a deaf person.

The production was in collaboration with Dance City, Surface Area Dance Theatre, and Zendeh. After the auditions, studio development workshops and sharings took place in 2015 at Dance City, with a team of deaf and hearing performers. Further support and awards facilitated the next stage of Gothrella’s journey, sharing our performance to an invited audience in London.

With support from Arts Council England

Director * Paul Miller

Producer * Nicole Vivian Watson

Live original music * Brendan Murphy

Gothrella * Vilma Jackson

Ghost Mother * Sammy Dobson

Stepmother * Alan Magor

Gothrella in Greece

Paul Miller

February 2016

Gothrella in Greece

The Greek Deaf Theatre in Athens invited us for one week to work with their deaf actors and actresses. We spent our time experimenting with the script of Gothrella, using Greek Sign Language (GSL) and involving different aspects of Greek culture. We also exchanged our own experiences of the deaf world, and working within the theatre. Greek Deaf Theatre have been a successful theatre company for many years, and they predominantly create performances around Greek politics and history (a lot of their productions involve government protests). Gothrella received quite an impact due to its fairytale content, something they are not so familiar with - as it has not been present in their theatres for many years.

With thanks to Arts Council England and Surface Area Dance Theatre

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