7 10 2011

Check out the BBC Radio 4 play ‘Dragonfly’ , which features a deaf character with a script which you can download.  There is a signed version available too. The play was written by Katie Hims, for David Bower and Sophie Woolley. (Have you seen Sophie? She’s amazing!)

Dragonfly : Listen & read / Signed version

The Farmer’s Cheese

14 04 2010

You’re invited to join MED-EL for a musical performance to celebrate the year 2010 being their 20th anniversary, check out performance dates for the children’s musical “The Farmer’s Cheese”.

Devised for musical theatre by Oliver Searle, based on the children’s book, “The Farmer’s Cheese” is written by Geoff Plant of MED-EL and the Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation. Performed on stage by two actors and a six-piece ensemble, and akin to Peter and the Wolf, all the animals are represented by an individual instrument. The irate farmer remonstrates with the animals in turn while the mouse looks set to win the battle of the cheese.

24th April 2010 at 2.00 pm, Turner Sims Concert Hall, University of Southampton, Salisbury Road, Southampton, SO17 1BJ

8th May 2010, at 3.30 pm, (refreshments available from 3.00 pm), The Drill Hall, 16 Chenies Street, London, WC1E 7EX

For ticket information contact MED-EL Customer Services on
01226 242 879 or email: charles@medel. co.uk

Performances last approximately 40 minutes. Tickets are free of charge on a first come first served basis.

If you want to find out more about the cochlear implant music scene, you can find out more at CI Music Scene, where they also have a review of The Farmer’s Cheese. I’ve reproduced it here as it’s so hard to read the text on their website! (Tut tut)

Many thanks to Nicky Broekhuizen of CICS Scotland for her review of the Farmer’s Cheese which first appeared in CICS October Newsletter.

We, along with a number of other CI families, went to the Scottish Storytelling Centre to see ‘The Farmer’s Cheese’, a stage version of a children’s book of the same name by Geoff Plant. The story has been adapted into a musical dramatisation by Oliver Searle, especially targeted at hearing impaired children.

The forty-five minute production was staged very simply ; no scenery, just the six musicians from Symposia, a collective of Glasgow-based musicians, on stage behind the two actors and providing the accompaniment with a range of wind and string instruments, including the flute, violin and the ‘cello. Indeed, it was quickly clear how integral the musicians were to the performance; their silent yet humorous entry onto stage grabbing the children’s immediate attention.

From that moment on the audience were hooked. The ensemble was soon joined on stage by the principals – the cheese-loving farmer and the narrator who, for the second part of the play, donned ears and a tail to turn into the infernal mouse. The plot is straightforward; in the style of ‘the old lady who swallowed a fly’, the farmer buys a succession of animals with the hope they will catch their predecessor. The story is heavy on repetition and told in uncomplicated language, so none of the children had trouble following the action. The actors were completely engaging and physical, holding the attention of the audience throughout and generating a lot of giggles and belly laughs along the way.

The musical accompaniment was a vital, integral part of the performance. In the first part of the play each of the six instruments represented a different animal with a signature melody – not unlike ‘Peter and the Wolf’ – with the flute, for example, bringing to life the scampering, light-footed (and light-fingered) mouse and the prowling cat evoked by the ‘cello. Later, various members of the ensemble played key parts in the farmer’s increasingly desperate, and humorous, schemes to retrieve his cheese with bursts of rock and roll amongst others. This clever weaving of musical instruments into the story was an excellent way in which to introduce live music to implanted children and, with the music never competing with the actor’s voices, it didn’t detract from their understanding of the story.

Tom was on the edge of his seat throughout, utterly absorbed and, from the many chuckles and absence of chatter, it was obvious that he wasn’t the only one. The extent of his understanding was obvious from the complete lack of questions both during the play and afterwards.

So, thank you MED-EL, for sponsoring this work by Oliver Searle and Symposia. Not only has it given hearing impaired children a wonderful introduction to live music and theatre in a truly accessible way, it also brought about an excellent opportunity for families to get together – and we all know how important and useful that is. Let’s hope ‘The Farmer’s Cheese’ reaches other areas of the UK in the future…..

Source: CI Music Scene

Abnormally Funny People

6 11 2009

Abnormally Funny People’s monthly comedy show returns to Soho Theatre on Friday 13th November, and it will be palantyped – making live comedy accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people.

More information about the show.

This month’s line up of comedians is Huw Thomas (compere), Liz Carr and Laurence Clark.

Tickets are £10, but if you have a disabled railcard, it’s just £6.70!

Hope to see you there – to book just email box1@sohotheatre.com or phone 0207 478 0100.

Any dream will do….

9 11 2008

We bought tickets six months ago to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, captioned by Stagetext. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was really looking forward to it as I had watched Lee Mead win the TV show, Any Dream Will Do. This was a full-blown musical with wall to wall songs. The singing was good and the costumes colourful enough to put your eyes out. It was a great musical for the whole family and we all enjoyed it. The captioning, as usual, was spot on.

My friend Jeanette made an interesting comment. She has seen this show twice previously, with a sign language interpreter. She said she got so much more out of the captioned show, as she’d had to keep looking at the interpreter who was too far from the stage, making her miss bits of the show every time she looked at the interpreter. With captions, she didn’t miss as much and got much more enjoyment out of it.

Captioned performance diary July 2008

29 07 2008



T: 0870 895 5505 M: 020 7087 7839 E: customer.relations@rutheatres.com
Joseph Sat 8 Nov 15.00
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biblical musical about a boy who can read dreams and his rather snazzy jacket. Joseph is one of 12 brothers. As he is his father’s favourite, his siblings are not too fond of him and sell him to passing merchants. This is just the start of an adventure that will see him rise to greatness. Lee Mead, the lead of this new production of Lloyd Webber’s musical was announced on the television programme Any Dream Will Do. on 9 June. Lee Mead will play the title role. Seats for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing patrons are £25.00.

T: 020 7379 3367 (10am-6pm) F: 020 7379 5776 M: 020 7240 9660 (10am-6pm)
Dirty Dancing Tue 7 Oct 19.30
Experience the excitement and passion of the classic story as never before with brand new scenes written especially for the stage. Now with more Baby and Johnny, more sensational dancing and even more classic songs – you’re sure to have the time of your life!

T: 0845 120 7511 (£1.85 fee) M: 020 7382 7297 E: tickets@barbican.org.uk SMS: 020 7256 9577
Barbican Access Membership Scheme (free to join) entitles you and a companion to a half-price ticket.
A Disappearing Number Sat 25 Oct 14.30
This devised production is inspired by the true story of the collaboration between two remarkable mathematicians: Cambridge Professor G. H. Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan, a poor Brahmin from South India. Exploring the beauty of mathematics and the complexity of modern India, A Disappearing Number is a provocative meditation on the nature of imagination, journey and identity.

T: 0870 060 6620 F: 020 8290 8248
Noises Off Thursday 27 Nov 19.45
Noises Off is a glorious comic romp, which offers two plays for the price of one! Whilst the traditional British comedy Nothing On is being performed, a real life charade unfolds backstage during the show’s final rehearsal and the ensuing disastrous tour. Watch as the actors make their exits from one play, only to find themselves making entrances into the other -and back again! Noises Off is one of the funniest nights you’ll spend at the theatre, about the theatre!

Cinderella Tues 13 Jan 2009 14.30
Hot on the heels of Peter Pan, Bromley’s most popular Christmas show ever, we’re proud to announce this year’s glittering spectacle will be the most magical pantomime of them all.
Cinderella is packed with all the essential ingredients including stunning sets, fabulous costumes, sensational song and dance routines and bags of audience participation so you’re guaranteed to have a ball!

T: 020 7845 5813 E: access@donmarwarehouse.com
Piaf Mon 1 Sept 19.30 *** SOLD OUT! ***
From the streets of Paris to worldwide fame, Edith Piaf continues to be remembered and revered for her exceptional voice and extraordinary life. In this new production of Piaf, Pam Gems has reworked her 1978 play vividly capturing the glamour and squalor, the rise and fall of this complex, fragile and enigmatic performer.

Creditors Thurs 30 Oct 19.30
Anxiously awaiting the return of his new wife, Adolf finds solace in the words of a stranger. But comfort soon turns to destruction as old wounds are opened, insecurities are laid bare and former debts are settled. Regarded as Strindberg’s most mature work, Creditors is a darkly comic tale of obsession, honour and revenge.

T: 020 7722 9301 E: boxoffice@hampsteadtheatre.com
Turandot Tues 30 Sept 19.30
The Emperor of China is not happy. A bumper harvest has devalued his cotton shares and drained the imperial coffers.His team of spin doctors resort to desperate measures to bump up the price but will they be able to conceal the truth from the public? With the hand of the beautiful Princess Turandot on offer to the man whose intellect can save the dynasty, the dashing Gogher Gogh arrives at the palace. But he’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the box… There will be a post-show talk with speech-to-text transcription.

Mine Tues 21 Oct 19.30
They have a beautiful home and a glamorous life. In fact, everything they could wish for. Except the one thing they want most of all. A baby. When they finally decide to adopt, they know only how much they long for a child. But the baby’s troubled mother comes to haunt them and their lives become entangled in a way no-one could have imagined… There will be a post-show talk with speech-to-text transcription.

Lucky Seven Tues 18 Nov 19.30
Working-class Alan, upper-class Catherine and middle-class Tom are part of a social litmus test, reunited every seven years to expose themselves to the nation. But waiting on the sofa for director David to arrive, they reveal far more to each other than they ever will to camera. Inspired by the Seven Up series, Lucky Seven is a comedy about growing up, class, love, disappointment and hope.
There will be a post-show talk with speech-to-text transcription.

T: 0870 850 9171 E: education@delmack.co.uk
Phantom of the Opera Sat 28 June 14.30
Set below the stage of the Paris Opera, a horribly deformed ex-performer ‘haunts’ the theatre. He falls in love with a beautiful young chorus singer and trains his pupil (who never sees him) to take over the star role. Seats for the captioned performances are £25.00

Please see below for booking details
The Lion King Sun 31 Aug 15.00
Seen by over 25 million people across four continents, Disney’s award-winning musical The Lion King transports audiences to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colours of the Serengeti Plains. Stunning effects and the evocative rhythms of Africa. The result is a visual feast beyond the boundaries of imagination.
To book tickets for the captioned performance of The Lion King please print and complete the booking form which is attached and fax it to 020 7845 0999
or post it to:
Disney Group Bookings
Lyceum Theatre
21 Wellington Street
Alternatively, you may hand in your completed booking form to the Lyceum Theatre Box Office,
marked for the attention of Disney Group Bookings.
Your tickets will be mailed to you in due course.

T: 020 7452 3000 F: 020 7452 3030 W: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk E: boxoffice@nationaltheatre.org.uk

Her Naked Skin 2 Sept 19.30
London 1913. Militancy in the Suffragette Movement is at its height. Thousands of women of all classes serve time in Holloway Prison in their fight to gain the vote. Amongst them is Lady Celia Cain who feels trapped by both the policies of the day and the shackles of a frustrating marriage. Inside, she meets a young seamstress, Eve Douglas, and her life spirals into an erotic but dangerous chaos.

War Horse Sat 18 Oct 19.30 and Sun 19 Oct 15.00
At the outbreak of World War one, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.


A Slight Ache Weds 13 Aug 18.00
A Slight Ache takes an oblique view of a long-married couple, the irascible Edward and his frustrated wife Flora, when the arrival of a statuesque silent stranger splinters their loveless bourgeois marriage. Simon Russell Beale and Clare Higgins play the couple in this early work by Harold Pinter.

Never So Good Wed 13 Aug 19.45
Set against a back-drop of fading Empire, war, the Suez crisis, vintage champagne, adultery and vicious Tory politics at the Ritz, Howard Brenton’s Never So Good paints the portrait of a brilliant, witty but complex man, at times comically and, in the end, tragically out of kilter with his times. Harold Macmillan, the Eton-educated idealist who rushed, with Homer’s Iliad under his arm, to do his duty in the Grenadier Guards, is tormented by the harsh experiences of war and an unhappy marriage. His career in the 30s is blocked by his loyalty to Winston Churchill and he nearly loses his life in the Second World War. When at last he becomes Prime Minister he is brought down by the Profumo scandal.

Afterlife Sat 16 Aug 14.15
Max Reinhardt, one of the greatest impresarios of theatrical history, had a lifelong ambition – to dissolve the boundary between theatre and the world it portrays. Each year at the Salzburg festival he directed a famous morality play, Everyman, about God sending Death to summon a representative of mankind for judgment. The victim he chooses is a man who, like Reinhardt, rejoices in his wealth and all the pleasures that money can buy. Then in 1938 Hitler declares his own day of reckoning and sends Death into Austria – whereupon Reinhardt, a Jew, is left as naked and vulnerable as Everyman himself.

in-i Mon 13 Oct 20.00
A major new work of dance theatre created by one of the world’s leading dancer/choreographers, Akram Khan, and actress Juliette Binoche. Throughout their careers, Binoche and Khan have both sought out surprising and daring collaborations. Creating the environment for the duet is Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor. in-i is a unique collaboration between three of today’s most exciting artists.


Waves Mon 8 Sept 19.30
In the beginning, there was a nursery, with windows opening on to a garden, and beyond that the sea. A fragmented and dreamlike tale of friendship, loss, identity and love. Let us again pretend that life is a solid substance, shaped like a globe, which we turn about in our fingers. Let us pretend that we can make out a plain and logical story, so that when one matter is despatched – love for instance – we go on, in an orderly manner, to the next. A multi-media production based on Virginia Woolf’s ground-breaking experiment in literary form, The Waves. Public Booking opens on 23 July

…some trace of her Oct 19.30
Inspired by The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky. A woman lies dead on a bed in her wedding dress, a silver knife through her heart. The two men who loved her lie beside her.

The Walworth Farce Mon 27 Oct 19.30
It’s 11 o’clock in the morning in a council flat on the Walworth Road. In two hours’ time, as is normal, three Irish men will have consumed six cans of Harp, 15 crackers with spreadable cheese and one oven-cooked chicken with a strange blue sauce. In two hours’ time, as is normal, five people will have been killed.

Macbeth: Who is that Bloodied Man? Fri 8 Aug 21.00
With armies on motorbikes, witches on stilts and a spectacular burning castle, Teatr Biuro Podròzy’s award-winning adaptation of Macbeth comes to London following its sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival. The company has established an enviable reputation since they first stunned audiences in 1993 with the bleak and shocking Carmen Funebre. They have subsequently toured to over 40 countries and premiered their adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness at the National Theatre. Performed in English. Standing tickets only. All tickets £10

T: 0870 895 5505 M: 020 7087 7839 F: 020 7087 7771 E: customer.relations@seetickets.com
The Sound of Music Sat 26 July 14.30 and Tues 23 Sept 19.00
The hills are alive once more with the sound of a nun and a singing family telling us about a few of their favourite things, edelweiss and explaining that a doe is a deer, a female deer. Widowed Captain Von Trapp employs young nun Maria as governess to his seven rowdy children, who have already seen off a host of other nannies. Through her love and the power of music she bonds with the children, while also falling in love with their father. The Rogers and Hammerstein show is one of the world’s most loved musicals and won six Tony awards when it premiered on Broadway in 1959.

T: 08444 126666 F: 020 8544 7488 M: 0870 0606641 E: ticketcentre@theambassadors.com
Grease Thurs 14 Aug 19.30 and Sat 22 Nov 15.00
Sandy and Danny spend a summer in love, but think they will never meet again. That is until Sandy unexpectedly joins Danny’s high school to find that he is not exactly how she remembers him. Grease tells what it was like to be a teenager in the 1950s, when rock ‘n roll and putting grease on your hair were the most important things in life. Most famous for the 1979 film version starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, Grease has become a firm family favourite, not least for its songs which include Summer Lovin’, Hopelessly Devoted To You and, of course, Greased Lightning.

T: 0870 060 6651 F: 020 8948 3601 E: richmondboxoffice@theambassadors.com
Far From The Madding Crowd Thur 06 Nov 19.45
Having inherited her father’s farm, a spirited and feisty young woman Bathsheba Everdene, finds herself playing mistress in a man’s world. She is pursued by three would-be lovers: the constant shepherd Gabriel Oak, the obsessive landowner William Boldwood and the reckless Sergeant Troy. But are any of them a match for the wilful Bathsheba? Far From The Madding Crowd uses vivid storytelling and live music to take us on an exquisite theatrical journey through Hardy country.

T: 0871 230 1552 M: 020 7087 7839 W: http://www.rosetheatrekingston.org
A Doll’s House Fri 19 Sept 19.30
Nora thought she had the perfect life until a ghost from the past returns. Forced to confront reality, she recognises that she is little more than her husband’s plaything, trapped by convention within a suffocating marriage… Blackmail and innocence, love and hypocrisy, honour and betrayal collide in one of the most groundbreaking and celebrated plays in theatre history.

T: 020 7565 5100 F: 020 7565 5145 E: marketing@royalcourttheatre.com
The Girlfriend Experience Tues 30 Sept 19.45
Tessa has set up a business; a brothel by the sea where mature women specialise in the Girlfriend Experience, a surprisingly caring and sympathetic service. As the women stoically strive to make a living in a competitive market, their personal lives start to crumble. Will they ever have loving relationships outside work and enjoy being girlfriends themselves? This extraordinary play is created entirely from edited conversations recorded inside an actual brothel.

Now or Later Tues 14 Oct 19.30
Election night in the US, and things are looking rosy for the Democratic Party. Holed up in a hotel watching the results flood in are the likely President-elect, his wife, advisors and 20 year old son John Jnr. Every speech, interview and photocall has been carefully controlled and meticulously orchestrated, all leading up to this big night. At the same time controversial photos of John Jnr are gathering momentum on the internet. Whilst his father’s advisors work against the clock on damage limitation, it’s up to father and son to try and reach an agreement.

Wig Out! Tues 6 Jan 2009 19.30
Enter the legendary House of Light, a hyper-glamorous, uber-competitive drag queen refuge where a daughter who was once a son, can find a family. While the House are primping and preening for a catwalk showdown with the other houses, drag queen Nina is wooing the delectable Eric as Wilson, a de-camped, make-up free ‘straight’ gay man. How can Nina/Wilson strut the thorny divide between opposite genders and differing worlds? With sassy music, killer costumes and performed in a club cabaret setting, Wig Out! brings to glorious, vivid life, a riotous, defiant drag queen sub-culture.

T: 0207 379 5399 E: shaftesburyboxoffice@toc.dltentertainment.co.uk
Hairspray Tues 17 March 2009 19.30
Hairspray, the mother of all musicals, follows Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular dance show. Can this ordinary girl realise her extraordinary dreams, inspire her mum and still have time to win the boy she loves? One of Britain’s leading musical stars Michael Ball will undergo a major transformation to play Tracy’s mother Edna. Comedian and actor Mel Smith will play Tracy’s father Wilbur.

T: 0871 663 2584 F: 020 7921 0607 E: kate.gonzales@southbankcentre.co.uk
The Wizard of Oz Sat 9 Aug 14.30
This summer there is no place like the Royal Festival Hall as it transforms into the mystical Emerald City. With a click of your heels and a sprinkle of Southbank Centre magic you’ll be swept away on a bewitching adventure to the Land of Oz. Follow Dorothy and her friends Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion on their quest to find their heart’s desire and a way back home.

T: 0844 482 5165 E: access@delmack.co.uk
Oliver Sat 16 May 2009 14.30 *** SOLD OUT! ***
Cameron Mackintosh presents his triumphant new staging of Lionel Bart’s masterpiece Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which was last seen at the Palladium in 1994. Oliver! is one of the most beloved British musicals, vividly bringing to life Dickens’ timeless characters with its ever-popular story of the boy who asked for more. The new production at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane promises to be even more spectacular than ever before, starring Rowan Atkinson as Fagin, a cast and orchestra of over one hundred and an exciting new Nancy and Oliver as chosen on BBC TV’s I’d Do Anything. The sensational score is full of Lionel Bart’s irresistible songs including Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You’ve Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two, Oom Pah Pah, As Long As He Needs Me and many more.

T: 020 7834 1170 F: 020 7931 7163 E: vpboxo@yahoo.co.uk
Billy Elliot Tues 16 Sept 19.30 and Weds 4 March 2009 19.30
A funny, heart-warming and feel-good celebration of one young boy’s dream in a gripping tale of triumph over adversity. This brilliant new staging is an adaptation of one of the most adored British films of the last decade. Seats for the captioned performances are £25.00.


T: 023 8071 1811 F: 023 8071 1813 E: tickets@mayflower.org.uk
Blood Brothers Sat 11 Oct 14.00
Hailed by critics as ‘the greatest musical of the decade’, this captivating tale of twin boys separated at birth, reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret, touches the hearts of all who see it.
The sensational cast head a production packed with show-stopping music, including the hit Tell Me It’s Not True and Marilyn Monroe. A night to remember!

T: 01865 305305 M: 01865 305377 F: 01865 305335 W: http://www.oxfordplayhouse.com
Far From The Madding Crowd Sat 11 Oct 14.30
See Richmond Theatre, London for show details

T: 08700 606 650 F: 01273 764407 W: http://www.theambassadors.com/theatreroyal
Far From The Madding Crowd Sat 29 Nov 14.30
See Richmond Theatre, London for show details

T: 01483 44 00 00 F: 01483 564071 E: boxoffice@yvonne-arnaud.co.uk
Far From The Madding Crowd Thurs 13 Nov 19.45
See Richmond Theatre, London for show details


T: 01923 225671 E: sales@watfordtheatre.co.uk
The Dresser Thurs 25 Sept 19.45
Backstage in a provincial theatre an ageing actor-manager, known to his company as Sir, is struggling to find the strength to make it to the stage for his two hundred and twenty seventh performance of King Lear. With thirty minutes to curtain-up, air-raid sirens sounding and the best actors having been ‘called up’, Sir is crumbling. Devoted dresser Norman must once again rally the unpredictable star whose grip on sanity is becoming increasingly precarious. For sixteen years Norman has been there to fix Sir’s wig, massage his ego, remind him of his opening lines and help to provide the sound effects for the storm scene on the blasted heath.

Absent Friends Thurs 23 Oct 19.45
Evelyn has had a one-night stand with Paul. Her husband John knows, but is more concerned with getting business from Paul than revenge. Paul’s wife Diana suspects, but doesn’t know. Marge is outraged on Diana’s behalf, but preoccupied with her own husband Gordon, who is poorly (as usual) and has taken to his bed, but rings her regularly for comfort and advice. It is shaping up to be a rather tense tea party. But when recently bereaved Colin arrives, the cauldron of simmering resentments explodes to the surface in a thoroughly un-English way and people really start to unravel.

Dick Whittington Sat 20 Dec 14.00
It’s 1908 – and our hero Dick meets his new friend Tommy the Cat (who can talk!) outside the newly built Palace Theatre in Watford. But Watford’s streets aren’t paved with gold so Dick heads off to London to make his fortune…He and Tommy meet Alderman Fitzwarren, his daughter Alice, and Sarah the cook – they mess around with fruit pies, sail on the high seas and ultimately have to foil King Rat’s plans to take over the world. Fairy Bow-Bells is on hand to help our dynamic duo – but they’ll still need more help – can you, the audience provide the X factor to help Dick and Tommy save the day?!


T: 0161 876 2000 M: 0161 876 2002 F: 0161 876 2021 W: http://www.thelowry.com
Waves Fri 26 Sep 20.00
See National Theatre, London for show details

The Wizard of Oz Sat 3 Jan 2009 14.00
Based on the classic Judy Garland film, all the famous songs and characters are here. Join Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion and enjoy such classics as We’re Off To See The Wizard, Follow The Yellow Brick Road and of course the unforgettable, Over The Rainbow. So, come with us, over that legendary rainbow, to the magical land of Oz, and your dreams of a very special seasonal treat for the whole family really will come true.

`Allo `Allo Sat 10 Jan 2009 14.30
One of the greatest British TV comedies ever written comes to The Lowry this Christmas with the 25th anniversary production of `Allo’Allo. Adapted by the original writers from the hugely popular series, this stunning new stage production follows the hilarious adventures of René, a hapless café owner in war-torn occupied France, as he and his wife Edith, struggle to keep for themselves a priceless portrait stolen by the Nazis and kept in a sausage in their cellar. Adding to René’s litany of woes the French Resistance, led by Michelle, force him to aid their persistent attempts to return two bumbling British airmen to England. René, caught in the middle of this joyous mayhem must also keep secret from his wife his long-running affairs with two waitresses or losing his cherished café may be the least of his problems…

T: 0161 2456605 E: access4all.manchester@livenation.co.uk
Mary Poppins Tues 3 Feb 2009 19.30 and Weds 4 Feb 2009 14.30
Following a triumphant run in London’s West End, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular hit musical Mary Poppins is coming to Manchester. This unforgettable production includes the best-loved songs from the film, including Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Spoonful of Sugar and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.


T: 01423 502116 F: 01423 563205 W: http://www.harrogatetheatre.org
Cinderella Weds 7 Jan 2009 19.00
Harrogate Theatre’s truly traditional pantomime returns with pumpkins, princes and ponies! Don’t miss your chance to book your favourite seats for this year’s show.

T: 0114 249 6000 E: ticketoffice@sheffieldtheatres.co.uk W: http://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
Dr Dolittle Thurs 24 July 14.30
The legendary Tommy Steele, one of this country’s brightest musical entertainers, leads a talented company of singers, dancers and puppeteers in this smash-hit musical. Immortalised in the hugely popular film, Dr Dolittle tells the magical story of a world-renowned veterinarian who has a very special gift – he can talk to the animals! Join him and his friends as they begin an intrepid adventure to find the Giant Pink Sea Snail and expect to meet a host of amazing creatures along the way; including the Pushme-Pullyu and the Giant Moon Moth!

Absurd Person Singular Thurs 18 Sept 14.30
It’s party time at the Hopcroft’s and the only present they want is to succeed in scaling the social ladder. Havoc ensues at the drinks party they hold to impress their high-powered friends – but that’s nothing compared to what happens over the next two years when the friends return their hospitality!

Evita Thurs 23 Oct 14.30
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s EVITA. Featuring some of the most famous and inspiring stage music ever written, including the classic songs Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night of a Thousand Stars and Buenos Aires, EVITA brings to life the dynamic persona of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron. The production begins with a young ambitious Eva and follows her rise to sainthood – telling the story of the enormous wealth and power she gained to become the beloved EVITA. With more than 20 major awards to its credit and featuring one of the most coveted roles in musical theatre, this brand new production of the smash hit show truly promises to be the theatrical event of the year!

An Ideal Husband Fri 7 Nov 19.30
At 40, Sir Robert Chiltern is already a pillar of London society; handsome, wealthy, happily married to a beautiful woman and a popular government minister with a brilliant future. When he meets Mrs Cheveley, a beauty with a past who comes to threaten the present, at a dinner party hosted by his wife, she attempts to blackmail him with a compromising letter. It contains a dark secret from his youth, on which his wealth and power are based. Should he comply with her demand to deceive the House in exchange for the return of the letter, and so preserve an unblemished reputation in his public and private life or must he risk both his marriage and career for the sake of the truth.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Sat 15 Nov 13.00
Newcomer Craig Chalmers, one of the most popular finalists in the recent hit BBC series Any Dream Will Do takes on the title role, having delighted TV audiences week after week with his vocal talents. Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers, and the coat of many colours, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including Any Dream Will Do, Close Ev’ry Door To Me and One More Angel.

Witches of Eastwick Fri 5 Dec 20.30
Marti Pellow stars as the devilish Daryl Van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick, a bewitching musical based on the Warner Brothers motion picture starring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Cher. When three desperate housewives in small town America wish for the man of their dreams, they get far more than they bargain for. All hell breaks loose – quite literally – when Daryl Van Horne arrives to liven things up.

T: 0115 989 5501 M: 0115 989 5601 E: Emily.Noakes@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Thurs 9 Oct 19.30
See The Lyceum, Sheffield for show details.

Cinderella Sat 17 Jan 2009 2.30pm
The most famous fairytale of them all will be brought magically to life from page to stage in a production that will delight Theatre Royal audiences of all ages. Cinderella will be produced by Qdos Pantomimes, the largest pantomime producer in the world. Starring Brian Conley as Buttons.


T: 01970 623 232 F: 01970 622 883 E: artsstaff@aber.ac.uk W: http://www.aber.ac.uk/artscentre
Memory Tues 9 Sept 19.30
East Berlin, 1990. The wall has just been pulled down. A man arrives at the flat of his grandmother with awkward questions about the past. Meanwhile, a generation later, in Bethlehem the Israeli security barrier is going up. Told by a company of actors through tense, sometimes painful, scenes, Memory is a new play which brings the past and present together in an intimate exploration of division, destiny and memory.

T: 029 2064 6900 M: 029 2064 6909 F: 029 2064 6902 E: box.office@shermancymru.co.uk
Memory Sat 20 Sept 20.00
See Aberystwyth Arts Centre for show details.

When booking, please ask for seats suitable for seeing the captions.

The latest information on STAGETEXT captioned performances can be found on the STAGETEXT WEBSITE or email them at enquiries@stagetext.org and ask to be added to their free email list.

Details correct at time of going to print.

Phantom of the Opera

30 06 2008

Last Saturday saw me hitting the theatre again, this time to see captioned Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London. It’s the first time I’ve seen an Andrew Lloyd Webber production and I didn’t know what to expect.

The captions were a talking point amongst our group as they were scrolling captions, scrolling up line by line, rather than appearing word by word as they used to. Fabulous! It was so much easier to read, and flowed very smoothly, even when actors were singing different things at the same time. (You bet you gotta be able to read fast!) Stagetext coped with this admirably.

It was a very dramatic production, extremely slick and professional, with 130 cast, crew and orchestra members involved. The set changes were very fast and the stage seemed to be huge. The 230 costumes were particularly good, especially in the second act where they had a masked soiree with weird and wonderful dresses. Real candles were used, 281 of them, and firecrackers which made us jump out of our seats!

My friend Jeanette has seen Phantom six times and says this was the first time she has seen it with captions, and it was the best one for her. Now she can sing along! There was a touch too much singing for me, I would have liked to have sen more spoken dialogue. The Phantom got a standing ovation at the end. He did everyone proud and we had an outstanding night.

Summer in the park ~ Romeo & Juliet

28 04 2008

If you would like to enjoy a summer evening at the Open Air Theatre in London’s Regent’s Park, grab this opportunity with Stagetext captioning. The first captioned production will be shown on 21 July. Romeo and Juliet fall in love then try and conceal this from their families under the cloak of night – share their story under the same romantic night sky.

Booking information

Romeo and Juliet, Monday 21 July, 8pm

Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NR

To book suitable seats for viewing the captions, go to the Access section of Open Air Theatre, complete the Disability Booking Form and say that you are booking for the captioned performance. Or you can call 0844 826 4242 to discuss your requirements.

Nearest tube: Baker Street, then a 10-minute walk.
Click here for map

Dirty Dancing

27 04 2008

Spending the summer in the Kellerman’s holiday camp with her family, Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dancing teacher. The original soundtrack sold over 41 million copies. Great dance routines and music with 1960s nostalgia…

If you liked the film, you’ll enjoy the theatrical production. I went to see it yesterday at the Aldwych Theatre with captions provided by Stagetext. The theatre was packed, and we had front row seats in the dress circle with a fabulous view. The box office happily looked after my Hearing Dog during the show, and almost *didn’t* give him back to me as he had won them over hook, line and sinker.

The captions were provided on the right and left of the stage. What can I say? They were word perfect. The only problem was, there was so much happening on stage, that sometimes it was too much to take it all in, and try to keep up with the captions as well. The costumes were authentic, the acting was good, and the dancing was superb. The set was fabulous with a revolving stage and excellent use of filmic and photographic backdrops to recreate scenes. The lake scene was particularly good, using a gauze screen with a smoke machine, splash sound effects and a filmic water background.

We were amazed at how much the actress Georgina Rich looks like Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman in the original film, and we could really see how she blossomed into the confident person and dancer portrayed at the end of the show. Josef Brown plays the dance teacher Johnny Castle. He wowed us with his dancing, his six-pack, and his lean figure – unfortunately his Aussie-American accent wasn’t as pleasing to the ear. Nadia Coote (as Penny) has a figure to die for, us females were sooo jealous when Penny came on stage in her black leotard and high heels – no woman should be *allowed* to have a figure that good!

Photo: Tristram Kenton

We were carried through the story and became a part of the audience at the Kellermans. A huge cheer went up when Johnny shouted ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner’ and a few people behind me got up and started dancing along during the closing scenes. Did I enjoy it? I had the time of my life. I’ve already got tickets to see it again in October.

I was really pleased to read that Stagetext captioning is jumping over to Ireland. Stagetext are on MySpace and Facebook. If you feel like trying out some dirty dancing yourself, go to the Mirano Continental in Brussels on a Saturday night.

Dirty Dancing returns to the West End in 2013!

Deaf actors & actresses wanted

15 02 2008

Audition for Deafinitely Theatre

Deafinitely Theatre is looking for Deaf and hearing actors for their forthcoming production for a five week national tour and two week run at Drill Hall, London

Audition : Thursday 28th February 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Venue : Drill Hall, 16 Cheniest St, London WC1E 7EX

Deafinitely Theatre are looking for six actors:

1) Mother: Hearing/Hard of Hearing, early 40’s, can sign.

2) Father: Hearing male, early 40’s, can sign.

3) Isabel: Deaf female 16 – 20 yrs old, sign BSL.

4) Dan : Deaf male 16 – 20 yrs old, sign BSL.

5) Mel : Deaf female 16 – 20 yrs old, sign BSL.

6) Jenni : Hearing female mid 20’s interpreter,

To apply, send a CV and photo to:
Paula Garfield, Deafinitely Theatre, Office 7, The Beethoven Centre, Third Avenue, London W10 4JL

Or email paula at deafinitelytheatre.co.uk


A friend James worked for Deafinitely Theatre last year, he’s deaf – says he really loved the experience and agreed with me that these are very nice people indeed!

New Access London theatres e-bulletin

19 09 2007

There is a new online comprehensive accessible show bulletin, which will give you the latest up-to-date accessible show details for captioned (deaf, deafened and hard of hearing patrons), BSL (Deaf Sign Language users or BSL students) or Audio described performances in the London area only. You need to subscribe to receive regular updates – click on this link.