Precious Emily - Family Show (BSL/English)

Studio Theatre  

A playful and fun theatre show for everyone aged +9, Precious Emily tells the stories of two inspirational weightlifters:

Precious McKenzie (4’10”) the legendary four times Commonwealth Games gold medal winner, whose incredible tale includes an escape from apartheid in South Africa, his father being killed by a crocodile and an attempt to join the circus.

Emily Campbell (5’11”) the charismatic and trailblazing Olympic Games silver medal winner whose uplifting adventure includes carnival, school sports day, a gold shirt, a difficult decision, a messy bedroom and lots and lots of hard work.

This beautiful, witty show is also about all the lessons weightlifting can teach us, even when the heavy things we have to lift are only in our minds.

This is a bi-lingual show, performed in English & BSL.


Devised and performed by:
Aaron Corbett
Kelsey Gordon
Mary-Jayne Russell de Clifford
Jack Trow
Holly Alanna Williams

Directed by:
Paul ‘Steady’ Steadman and James Yarker

Extra devising input: Elexi Walker
Stage Mangement: Emily Davies
Lighting: Nigel Edwards
Illustrations: Maxene Brown
Music mostly by: Orique Johnson
Prop Weights made by: Infamous Community Arts
Costume Supervisor: Daisy Jane Dunne
Photography: Graeme Braidwood
Graphic Design: Simon Ford
Produced by: Nick Sweeting
Stan’s Cafe office: Lucy Bird, Dave Howard, Michelle Smith, Dominic Thompson

Main BSL translators:
Emma Dunlevey-Dale, Olivia Whitter & Rachael Veazey
BSL consultant: Jean St Clair
Access Supported by: DeafExplorer
Audio Description: Stuart Reid

With thanks to:
Jo Calvino, Claire Birch & everyone at Birmingham 2022 Festival
Everyone involved in the schools’ versions for their hard work and inspiration
Emily Campbell & Precious McKenzie for their help & support
Coach Cheema at Warley Weightlifting Club for kindly letting us sit in
Sammy Hayer of Sam’s Gym at Oldbury Academy who was also supportive
Brian Oliver for linking us with Precious in writing & in life

Commissioned by Birmingham 2022 Festival

Family Show

  • 1pm
    15 September
    MAC, Birmingham

  • 1pm & 7pm
    16 September
    MAC, Birmingham

  • 2:30pm
    17 September
    MAC, Birmingham

Presented by

Schools Versions

Ten schools each made their own version of this show in Spring/Summer 2022. This family version will have the same spirit, but be very different. You can learn more about the schools versions here.


As part of our research for Precious Emily we interviewed the 86 year old living legend that is, Mr. Precious McKenzie. His story is extraordinary. He is extraordinary. Please watch.