Louder Is Not Always Clearer

Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus (theatre, dance)

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  • Summerhall - TechCube 0
  • 14:30
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Suitability: 12+ (Restriction)
  • Country: United Kingdom - Wales
  • Group: Mr and Mrs Clark featuring Jonny Cotsen
  • Warnings and additional info: Access: All shows use creative captioning, English and BSL to make the show fully accessible for deaf and hearing audiences.
  • Accessibility:
    Signed Performance
    Hearing not needed
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Meet Jonny: teacher, father and football fan. He's an artist, campaigner, and deaf. He wishes he could sing and loves to dance, but he can't hear the music unless the bass is loud. Jonny grew up in a hearing family, surrounded by fear of the stigma of disability. This one-man show tells Jonny's moving, funny story of disconnection, difference and desperation to belong and is a starkly honest portrayal of a man seemingly confident, outgoing and popular, who is inwardly vulnerable and, at times, isolated. In a hearing world Jonny is different. British Council Showcase.

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General venue access

  • Signed Performance
    Hearing not needed
  • Accessible entry: Once in the courtyard, take the access ramp into the main reception, take a right down the corridor, past the cafe, through a corridor with neon strip lights in the walls(slightly inclined), past the red lecture and through the double doors into the ground floor of tech cube.
  • Wheelchair access type: Wheelchair accessible (please contact the venue for more information)

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

Signed performances

  • Dates: 1 August, 2 August, 3 August, 4 August, 5 August, 8 August, 9 August, 10 August, 7 August, 6 August, 11 August, 12 August, 13 August, 14 August, 15 August, 16 August, 17 August, 18 August, 19 August, 20 August, 21 August, 22 August, 23 August, 24 August, 25 August
  • Interpreter: All shows use creative captioning, English and BSL to make the show fully accessible for deaf and hearing audiences. - Integrated into performance
  • Type: BSL
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team to book your tickets and request any specific seating requests in relation to the location of the interpeter.

Watch the BSL video

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Colin George 89 days ago

Jonny has been deaf since birth. In this part lecture (without spoken words), almost stand-up show, he skillfully manages to convey the frustration, hurt and isolation of being deaf to a hearing audience. He draws out a very different kind of prejudice and lack of understanding. Definitely worth seeing.

Nick Hunn 92 days ago

Everyone should see this show. There's still such a stigma about hearing loss - unlike glasses, which are fashionable, hearing aids are not. Jonny tells a brilliantly eloquent story, which provides the best example I've ever seen of what it means to lose your hearing. A great piece of theatre which deserves to win awards.

Peter Fitzpatrick 93 days ago

We attended this show on Saturday afternoon. It was such an eye opener. I never appreciated the now so obvious difficulties a deaf person encounters every single day in what we see as normal daily living.
Everyone should see this performance then go to the nearest bar and sit and think about the brilliant thought provoking performance they have just witnessed.
Well done everyone involved but most of all Jonny for his bravery in performing this challenging show highlighting the everyday hazards of being deaf.

Hannah Goslin 101 days ago

5 out of 5 stars
Let me tell you, if you like boundary breaking, the plain and simple truth and interesting physicality to name but a few, then you need Mr and Mrs Clark in your life.

A long-time fan, I have always admired their work, their concepts and how they bring these to the stage. They are never similar, never the same but always ground breaking and perfectly formed.

Louder Is Not Always Clearer draws upon the performance artist Jonny Cotsen and his life as a deaf person. The show Is autobiographical to an extent, but also makes you really see yourself. Using a range of media, physical theatre techniques, theatrical techniques and fine art, Cotsen brings us into his world, his difficulties but poses it in a way to create slight difficulty for us. Almost acting as if we are those who may not be as open minded and accommodating, we feel similar to how Cotsen has felt during his life – wanting to participate but being discriminated for something he cannot control.

An example of this is with use of sign language. I can imagine not every performance goes this way, depending on who is in the audience, but he begins a conversation with someone who can sign, finding them by openly asking through this communication who can indeed sign. And to this day, I still have no idea the conversation. This made me feel isolated, confused and this was very clever. As to an extent, this is what he himself has experienced on the other end.

He, with use of props, physicality and vocalisation makes fun of those who are ignorant. Those who are surprised by how he can drive a car, have children, those who almost shout at him to ‘hear’ them, normal things that everyone can do – and through these, they are comical, sometimes heart warming, sometimes astonishing at the ignorance and completely understandable.

Cotsen commands the stage. Unlike some of Mr and Mrs Clark’s pieces which are abundant with physical theatre, there are times of peace, of silence, of contemplation, and even at these points you cannot take your eyes off Cotsen – he is simply a fantastic performer.

Louder Not Always Clearer is honest, it has no fear, it has no bullsh*t. It is unashamed, unapologetic and something fully needed in the forefront of society. Feel seen, feel informed but ultimately, come away feeling Cotsen’s emotions and with anger at those who are ignorant.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

The Scotsman (4/5 stars) 87 days ago

Jonny Cotsen’s mother wanted her son to live a ‘normal’ life. ...

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The Wee Review (4/5 stars) 90 days ago

Born deaf to hearing parents, Jonny Cotsen welcomes us into his world with a few well chosen props and an easy way with dance. He shares his and his mother’s experiences of his childhood, which was spent in mainstream schools, and university, where he partied in clubs and awkwardly went...

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Fest (4/5 stars) 92 days ago

I'd be hard-pressed to guess how many Fringe solo shows could be deemed autobiographical declarations of the struggle to be acknowledged by mainstream society without being marginalised. Often such performances address health or social issues. Many turn out to be celebrations of difference and survival, providing valuable and engaging insights...

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UK Theatre Web (4/5 stars) 93 days ago

We ended, the whole audience, singing and trying to sign-along with a song about how to respond ... great idea, I was rubbish! Jonny asks us to always remember the mantra "Deaf not Stupid" and so we bloody should.

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Whats On Stage (4/5 stars) 95 days ago

The odd thing when you walk out of this impressive piece of physical theatre by deaf artist Jonny Cotsen is how loud the world suddenly seems. It's not that there hasn't been dialogue and even blaring music in this study of the relationship between the deaf and hearing worlds; but...

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Total Theatre 95 days ago

Louder Is not Always Clearer is a two man duet. A man in a T-shirt is sitting behind a desk, facing the audience. On the desk there is a computer. Another man is wearing a white doctor’s coat behind a second desk. On this desk are a computer and a...

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The List (4/5 stars) 97 days ago

A romp through one man's adventures and challenges...

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Edinburgh Festivals Magazine (3/5 stars) 102 days ago

As the audience enters Jonny Cotsen is sitting behind his desk on his computer. Born deaf, Jonny has always felt more comfortable on the internet and he uses this medium throughout the show: speaking to his au...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.