A Big Top circus AD experience

We are delighted to announce that Circus Starr has teamed up with VocalEyes to make their circus shows accessible for young blind and partially sighted people through pilot touch tours and audio described performances at several locations during their Big Top Autumn Tour 2016.

As their autumn tour arrives at Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park on Monday 3 October 2016, a couple of hours before show-time the cast will welcome Toby Davey, VocalEyes Deputy Director, to the Big Top to share his experience of growing up with a visual impairment. Toby along with VocalEyes Describer Roz Chalmers will also instruct the troupe in how to guide a blind or partially sighted young person on a touch tour and the language to use to bring the circus experience to life for them.

“We’re incredibly excited about working with VocalEyes on this pilot project to enhance the enjoyment of our show for children who are blind or partially sighted. We hope to gain a greater understanding of their needs and look at ways of integrating AD performances and touch tours across all our tours and be the first UK touring Big Top circus to do so!” explains Circus Starr’s Director Neville Wilson.

The Circus Starr Big Top Autumn 2016 tour has been created and developed by Phillip Gandey and is full of eastern promise with an amazing line up of internationally acclaimed circus talent. The Tangier Brothers acrobatic troupe will be making their debut this autumn under Circus Starr’s distinctive blue and yellow canopy with their jaw-dropping act on the “Space Wheel”.

The audio described performances will be piloted in Coventry, Milton Keynes and Luton with touch tours before the shows at Milton Keynes and Luton.

Founded 29 years ago Circus Starr provides a unique brand of relaxed and inclusive Big Top shows for children with different needs and from low income families and continues to strive to be the most inclusive touring Big Top show.

It’s a once a year treat for many who are often excluded from the arts due to lack of accessibility or affordability.

One parent commented after last year’s show, “My daughter who has profound multiple, physical and learning disabilities had an amazing time; ringside seats; arms flapping; wheelchair rocking in delight!”

The Circus Starr pilot touch tours and audio described performances have been made possible with the kind support of the MFPA Trust Fund for Disabled Children in the Arts.

Do visit the Circus Starr website to find out more about the pilot touch tours and audio described performances along with more details about their work.