Louder is Not Always Clearer

“It’s a story that needs telling,

and it’s got a communal ending you’re not likely to forget”



Louder is Not Always Clearer focuses on the importance of connection with others and the struggle to do so affectively. This one-man show is an honest portrayal of the vulnerability of a man perceived to be full of confidence and outwardly social.

In a hearing world, Jonny is different and Louder is Not Always Clearer is a bold expose that highlights those differences. For a hearing audience it is an illuminating and emotional experience. For deaf audience members it is a humorous and at times moving story of one man’s attempt to cope, to fit in, and be accepted.

Dates, Venues & Tickets

Autumn 2021


Het Nationale Theater – Paradijs Theater

Korte Voorhout 3

2511 CW The Hague

Running Time

60 minutes


Adults: €24,50   CJP members and (university) students: €12,50

Both ticket types include booking fee and a free drink!

This show is fully accessible and is a relaxed performance

The Story

Meet Jonny.

Jonny is a teacher, a freelance facilitator, a workshop leader, and an avid football fan. He’s just become a father, he is a campaigner, and an artist. His friends say that he’s outgoing and popular and that he loves music, festivals, and nightclubs. Jonny is deaf. He was born deaf to hearing parents who were afraid that disability would stigmatise their son and the family. Deaf was not a term that was used in the Cotsen household. Jonny underwent ardent speech therapy and learnt to lip read. He did not identify himself as “deaf” until much later in life. From an early age he felt disconnected from his disability, but also disconnected from the world around him.


Louder is Not Always Clearer is the first installation of STET NO LIMITS! and it will be followed by a theatrical symposium in Theater aan het Spui, in The Hague on May 17th. The symposium will include a performance by the BareFace Collective from London, a keynote address by Robert Softley Gale of Birds of Paradise, a disability led company Glasgow, and a panel of experts. Add it to your diaries!


To make these performances accessible to all, we would like to provide sign interpreters and blind interpreters for those audience members who otherwise might not be able to follow the performance. We need to raise money to make this happen!!


We would like to call upon you, our audience, to support this cause by donating generously by clicking one of the buttons.

STET has successfully raised funds for charities such as the Spierfonds, the Walkabout Foundation, and Create Bridges. Please join us once again to create accessibility for all!

Reviews… Don’t just take our word for it, this is what the critics said…

★★★★★ “Louder is 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, with anger at those who are ignorant.”

Hannah Goslin, Get The Chance, August 2019.

★★★★ “A deeply moving piece of theatre.”

Jafar Iqbal, The Stage, February 2018.

★★★★ “It’s a charming, engrossing show”.

Sarah Crompton, What’s on Stage, August 2019.

“Cotsen paints over the drawing with thick red acrylic: “DEAF NOT STUPID”. Maybe sometimes, when you’re trying to get a message across, you just have to be clear”.

Ben Kulvichit, Exeunt Magazine, May 2019.

Louder is Not Always Clearer also includes moments which turn the tables on hearing members of the audience in terms of exclusion: there is silent video of people speaking slowly and clearly which we are challenged to lip read, but which goes untranslated; as are signed conversations with deaf members of the audience.”

Othniel Smith, British Theatre Guide, May 2019.

The Deaf Workshop (14 – 18 yrs)
by STET Education

In this drama workshop, where Jonny shares how he became an actor and what kind of difficulties he faces on a daily basis. He also wants to demystify his disability and show, that in fact he is a normal guy living next door to you. The workshop can be tailored to those with special needs as Jonny has done many times. Jonny will create a safe and encouraging environment where students (hearing, deaf or anything in between) will feel supported enough to step outside of their comfort zones. Read more…

Note, this workshop is aimed at school classes, but if you have a suggestion for a private workshop at your location, let us know at education@theenglishtheatre.nl