Director Biography – Clare-Louise English (MY DARLING CHRISTOPHER)

Clare-Louise is a deaf actor and theatre-maker who lost her hearing as a teenager. Daughter of the late TV and film actor, Arthur English, Clare-Louise trained at RADA on the MA Theatre Lab course and is Co-Founder of Hot Coals Productions, alongside Jo Sargeant.
For the last 8 years Hot Coals have been making Deaf and hearing accessible theatre. They bring this wealth of experience in inclusive story-telling to My Darling Christopher which marks their first move into film, as a company, and Clare’s directorial debut.

Director Statement

The process of making MY DARLING CHRISTOPHER has been a huge learning curve for me, I knew that I wanted to bring everything that I have learnt over many years of accessible story-telling to this project and I believe that myself and my team have been successful in transferring our skills from theatre to film.

MY DARLING CHRISTOPHER is part of a larger project, which is to make a feature length film of Clive, our main protagonists, life. This short gave me a great opportunity to look more closely at one brief moment of that larger story and at the character of Dorothy, Clive’s mother.

There are many war films out there, but none telling the story from a uniquely Deaf perspective.
This film has meant I could experiment with combining 3 language styles into one piece: Captioned English, British Sign Language and Visual Vernacular. This has been exciting because I have been able to let the story itself dictate which language should be used at what moment and this is certainly something that I want to do with the feature, and continue to keep pushing the boundaries of film making and making original pieces of work.

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