Welcome to The Interval (#14), VocalEyes’ weekly selection of accessible cultural experiences available online. No special guest or theme this week, just some great theatre, museums, TV and an online festival from Wagga Wagga, Australia. All audio-described.
Manchester’s Royal Exchange: digital festival RX Connect
House of Bernarda Alba, by Federico Garcia Lorca, directed by Jenny Sealey. A Royal Exchange Theatre and Graeae Theatre Company co-production staged in February 2017. Includes audio description. Available on YouTube from Monday 29 June to Monday 6 July
Lorca’s final masterpiece is a bitter and darkly comic tragedy that charts the tyranny, jealousy and desperate struggle for freedom that will tear Bernarda and her daughters apart.
In a landmark co-production, Graeae bring their unique focus on accessibility and different theatrical languages to bear on this spare and full-blooded translation of the play by Jo Clifford.
On Wednesday 24 June, The House of Bernarda Alba Assistant Director Nickie Miles-Wildin chaired a panel discussion with Deaf and disabled artists on how the lockdown has affected disabled people, and the role theatre can play in our community moving forwards.
The Almighty Sometimes, by Kendall Feaver and directed by Katy Rudd. Audio described by Mind’s Eye Description.
A family story full of heart and humour, of a young woman trying to take control and a mother compelled to protect her. Content warning: The show contains frank discussion of mental illness throughout, and contains scenes that you may find distressing. | Audio Introduction on SoundCloud
Gobstopper, a play by Khush Chahal. Performed by Hermon Berhane and directed by Jenny Sealey. Audio described and captioned. (Week 10 of Graeae’s digital lockdown programme Crips without Constraints).
Did you ever do any petty pilfering when you were a kid and then feel full of guilt? Come on, most of us have, probably just on one occasion: something of little value like the gobstopper that causes the Sikh girl in Khush Chahal’s story such anguish after she gets it from a machine with a plastic penny.
Wise Children, by Angela Carter, directed by Emma Rice, filmed on stage at Bristol Old Vic, and with audio description by Roz Chalmers. A decadent and often surreal story of twins from a dysfunctional family who pursue a career performing as showgirls.
Royal Holloway, University of London contains a stunning Victorian Picture Gallery that houses an incredible collection of world-class art. They have recently launched a free online audio-described tour of a selection of paintings from the Picture Gallery using the Smartify app. Read more about the project in this blog post by friend of VocalEyes, Professor Hannah Thompson.
Not new, but featuring here as it’s one of CEO Matthew’s favourite places: Jimi Hendrix’s flat at the top floor of 23 Brook Street, London W1. Developed through a collaboration by Handel & Hendrix in London and VocalEyes, this audio-described guide takes you on an audio-described tour of both Handel’s house and Hendrix’s flat. Find out why Jimi had two telephones installed in his one-bedroom flat…
Alan Bennett’s timeless Talking Heads monologues have been remade during lockdown with a host of famous faces, plus two new episodes. The first in the series, A Lady of Letters, starring Imelda Staunton, is out now with audio description.
Scenes for Survival is a new season of digital short artworks, created in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies, with support from Hopscotch Films. The current crop of those with audio description available is in this YouTube playlist.
Scottish Opera is excited to present the world premiere of their first Scottish Opera Short, The Narcissistic Fish, which will be available to watch for free online from 7pm on Thursday 18 June, including an audio-described version by describer Jonathan Penny.
A phone call during a busy shift in the restaurant kitchen of a fictional Edinburgh restaurant, The Narcissistic Fish, sparks a war between the owner Angus and his brother Kai. As they argue over their dead father, talented and underpaid chef Belle has a revelation of her own. Sung in Scots, it’s a visceral exploration of the clash between class, gender and workplace pressure in 21st century Scotland. [Contains scenes of mild violence and adult language]. Find out more | YouTube video of audio-described version of The Narcissistic Fish | Digital programme.
I May Destroy You (BBC iPlayer, audio-described version), Michaela Cole’s sexual-consent drama which Lucy Mangan has called ‘an extraordinary, breathtaking exploration of consent, race and millennial life’.
Relive the time Salisbury took to the global stage in this three-part dramatisation, The Salisbury Poisonings. (BBC iPlayer, audio-described version).
PLATFORM is an online festival featuring some of Australia’s boldest, funniest, creative, and provocative Deaf and disabled artists and performers. The event will be supported by audio description, closed captions and Auslan (Australian Sign Language). PLATFORM will be live online on Saturday 27 June 2020 from 2pm EST.
Exploring non-visual beauty – an interview with blind writer Mandy Redvers-Rowe, on the website of Halifax-based theatre company Northern Broadsides.
A guided relaxation audio session to enhance wellbeing, from Curious Motion, a dance company based in Hebden Bridge.
Photo: Cast of Wise Children on stage, photo: Steve Tanner 2018