Audio description service for theatres and producers

The audio description experience

A VocalEyes audio-described show consists of:

  • The Audio introduction. About 10-15 minutes in length, this audio recording contains information about the set, characters and costumes, as well as access information and contact details. This is disseminated to AD bookers a week before the performance on audio CD or for download from the website, along with a Large Print Word document containing the script.
  •  Large Print and braille cast and creative lists.
  • A touch tour, an opportunity to explore the set, props and costumes, and meet members of the cast before the show.
  • Live audio description delivered by professional describers as the action unfolds.

Setting up an audio-described theatre performance

In order to prepare an audio description, VocalEyes needs:

    • Tickets for the describers to view the show; an up-to-date copy of the script; a recent video recording of the production, and a programme. Together these support the describers in their preparation of the audio introduction and script for the audio description of the show.
    • Brief access to the set to help understand the play and prepare the touch tour.
    • Contact with Stage Management, Front of House and Box Office to organise elements of the touch tour and the audio description in advance.

Please note that when scheduling an audio-described performance, the date should be 3 weeks into the run. This is to allow enough time to create the audio description materials and to work on an already-finalised play.

Marketing an audio-described performance

Once the audio description is confirmed and the performance date fixed, we recommend that it is promoted as soon as possible. We can advise on accessible marketing for blind and partially sighted audiences.

We will also add the audio-described show to our website and include it in our quarterly What’s On guide (print, braille and audio) and monthly emails.

Contact our Marketing and Audience Development Manager, Jess Beal with any questions about marketing your show.

The audio-described performance

The description is broadcast from a booth with line of sight to the stage or where show relay can be transmitted to a monitor. It is broadcast using either infrared, radio or WiFi. For a full explanation of how each system works, and their various advantages and disadvantages, read Michael Kenyon’s articles on broadcasting audio description.

A day before the audio-described performance, the describers do a ‘dry run’ and a sound and equipment check. This is an opportunity to test and improve the script.

For an additional fee, VocalEyes can provide full technical equipment and support. This will be installed and monitored during the performance by a technician. We may also be able to hire out items of equipment, such as audience headsets, mixer desks and describer headsets with microphones, to add to what you already have in place.

If you are not sure what is required, please contact our Theatre Programme Manager, Michael Kenyon.

Cost

The prices to deliver audio description vary depending on multiple factors: how many performances will be described; whether it is London show or a touring show; whether we have described it before and if so, how recently; whether the venue has its own technical equipment or whether our engineer will be required to install it.

Please contact our Theatre Programme Manager for further details and a full quote.