Louder Is Not Always Clearer

Mr and Mrs Clark


Mr and Mrs Clark make theatre shows based on personal stories that have a global theme. They use a variety of movement, music and physical forms, and their work often reveals macabre cabaret influences. They have made work for small theatre and non-theatre spaces, and have a long-term relationship with Chapter, an innovative multi-arts venue in Cardiff.

Jonny Cotsen is a visual artist – as well as being a teacher, facilitator and campaigner – who is new to theatremaking. He is a resident artist at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio, researching arts and technology. He received an Unlimited commission for HHA (Hearing Hearing AIDS), an immersive project that uses technology to explore how we communicate.

Louder Is Not Always Clearer is Cotsen’s story of his experience as a deaf man. He tells us about his parents’ unusual approach to his deafness, and the positive and negative effects on him. This is his first show, and his touching performance style illustrates his strengths, wit and vulnerabilities. He tells his story with captions, British Sign Language, spoken English, movement and physical theatre. Developed through workshops with D/deaf people in Cardiff, the production presents some of the challenges of being D/deaf. The piece shows how childhood influences our sense of self, through Cotsen’s journey to shape his own deaf identity.

Louder Is Not Always Clearer is in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

In the press

"Simple yet powerful... a moving study of language, communication and isolation" The Stage

"Jonny Cotsen’s performance is excellent throughout, making much use of his physicality... imaginative and smart... moving and powerful... an excellent show" Buzz Magazine

Production details

  • Devisor

    Gareth Clark & Jonny Cotsen
  • Director

    Gareth Clark
  • Choreographer

    Catherine Bennett
  • Designer

    Marega Palser
  • Number of people on stage

    1 performer, 1 sound designer
  • Number of people in touring company

    5 (2 management)
  • Freight

    No freight necessary
  • Touring Availability

    From Spring/Autumn 2020 and 2021
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400)
  • Minimum performance space

    6m x 6m
  • Text-based

    Medium (some text with a strong visual/physical element)
  • Also contains:

    Strong Language

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Summerhall - Tech Cube Zero 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
  • Production dates

    31 JULY–25 AUGUST (not Monday 19 AUGUST)
  • Production times

  • Duration

    65 MINS
  • Audience capacity




Deaf Awareness
Jonny delivers a fun and interactive two-hour training session on the basics of deaf awareness. This workshop highlights some of the daily struggles of deaf people in the hearing world and gives some useful tips on how to make the communication process a little easier for all. Using some interactive games, this is suitable for all age groups of up to 20 people. This workshop can be delivered in local schools and colleges.

Performance Workshop
Gareth and Jonny share some of the movement exercises that went into making Louder Is Not Always Clearer. This interactive and fun workshop explores the vocabulary of the body and how we create sequences to convey emotion. Each participant will create a piece of movement to reflect some of their own experiences. This is a three-hour workshop that is suitable for people of 12 and over with an interest in the performing arts.

Additional productions

(F.E.A.R.) is an autobiographical tour of constructed fear. The show examines the pressures society, religion, media and family place onto young shoulders. In this life story, which encapsulates early childhood memories and public information films, a clear and ever-more fevered narrative unearths the fears of a middle aged man plagued with the news of Islamic State attacks, the revelations of Edward Snowden, the rise of UKIP and of a growing concern of physical decay. Described as "a powerful blast of theatre" (F.E.A.R.) allows the audience to witness the vulnerability of a solo male performer in full confessional mode.
Written and Performed by Gareth Clark, Devised and Directed by Agnieszka Blonska, Choreographed by Marega Palser, Visuals by Andrew Rock.