Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

The Interval, #18, accessible culture online

Welcome to The Interval (#18), VocalEyes’ weekly selection of accessible cultural experiences available online. This week’s edition brings you an eclectic mix of audio-described theatre and dance, artist talks, poetry, a Zoom tour of the Frida Kahlo exhibition in San Francisco, and some AD on the TV.

Old Vic live streams Three Kings

After Lungs, the Old Vic’s next live production over Zoom will be the world premiere of Three Kings (duration 60 minutes) a new play by Stephen Beresford written for and starring Andrew Scott (of Fleabag fame) and directed by Matthew Warchus.

“When Patrick is 8 years old, his absent father returns, and in a brief but memorable encounter, sets him the challenge of The Three Kings. Years later – recalling the revelations that followed – Patrick traces the events of his father’s life, and takes us on a journey of grandiose plans, aching disappointments and audacious self-delusion.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Three Kings is about fathers and sons, the gifts and burdens of inheritance, and the unfathomable puzzle of human relationships.”

Three Kings is scheduled to run for five performances, and online booking for the general public opens at 10.00am Wednesday 22 July 2020. Tickets available on a ‘pay what you choose’ basis, with options ranging from £10-£40.

Wednesday 29 July 2020 7.30pm

Thursday 30 July 2020 7.30pm

Friday 31 July 2020 7.30pm

Saturday 1 August 2020 3.30pm and 7.30pm

All performances will be audio described live by the Old Vic’s regular describers, Roz Chalmers and Alison Clarke. Users have the option of turning on audio description or captioning in Zoom as needed. For detailed information and to book tickets, visit the Old Vic website.

National Theatre Talks: a conversation between Libby Purves and Helen McRory on the set of The Deep Blue Sea, which was one of the NT Live shows.

Disability Arts Online’s Artist Presentations

Disability Arts Online is presenting a series of Artist Presentations, running every other Wednesday from 27 May to 30 September at 3pm, lasting around 30 minutes, followed by a live Q&A element. They are also available to watch after the event. Here’s our selection:

Sasha Callaghan: Cut. Tear. Rip. Layer. Attach. The Subversive History of Collage

Sasha Callaghan introduces us to the history of collage. Collage has its roots in mass-production, putting together previously unconnected images and creating work which is both subversive and beautiful. This audio-described presentation looks at 400 years of collage from early printing to contemporary collagists, by way of Victorian toy theatres, erotic graphic novels from the 1930s, resistance movements and The Sex Pistols.

Jana Manuelpillai: An Insight into the Noble Sage

Art dealer Jana Manuelpillai describes how his sight impairment enhances his appreciation of art. He tells the stories of the Asian artists he works with and gives his top tips recommended for artists when approaching art dealers and curators.

Ellen Renton, Poetic Vision

Poet Ellen Renton explores the role of sight in her own work and the writings of others, touching on themes of imagery, the cultural significance of blindness, and the hierarchy of the senses.

Shape Arts, The Future is Loading…

Work by a group of artists, based primarily in the UK, Canada, and USA, reminds us to question whose ‘normal’ the ‘new normal’ might be. What will be its instincts, attitudes, and mechanisms? What will joy, love, and pain look like? Who will have access to it and whose interests will it serve? Will it be just, or just like before? All works in the show have been audio described.

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, DeYoung Fine Art Museum of San Francisco

DeYoung docent Karen Libby will deliver a descriptive live Zoom tour from the exhibition (currently shuttered). The tour will cover eight pieces that reflect Kahlo’s artistic style through her life with Diego Rivera, her relationship with Mexican culture, her relationship to San Francisco, and with her disability. The tour is on Thursday July 23 at 2:30 Pacific Time (10.30pm UK time). Join the Zoom Meeting.

The Poetry Archive: Listen to the world’s best poetry read out loud

Ian MacMillan: “In his range, prodigious northern myth-making, indefatigable good humour, and real status as a community poet, he is unique.” (Peter Forbes).

Linton Kwesi Johnson: “…the popular music of Jamaica, the music of the people, is an essentially experiential music… the music reflects the historical experience.”

Kate Tempest: “A spell-binding performer.”, “unlike anything else in the mainstream poetry world.”


A short dance exercise session from Touchdown Dance, a Manchester-based group, who create workshops and performances for visually impaired and sighted people

Amici Dance Theatre Company, 35 Amici Drive

Amici celebrated their 35th anniversary with a new full-company show. The residents of 35 Amici Drive, on the Candy Estate, are under threat of eviction from their homes due to a so-called ‘regeneration’ project engineered by the bureaucratic and seemingly uncaring Streathlee Green Borough Council, their local MP and property developers Eastlawn Incorporated. Will they overcome in their struggle to stay or will they face the wrecking ball? Audio-described by Willie Elliott.

Out of Sight. An animation about a visually impaired girl by Ya-Ting Yu, Ya-Hsuan Yeh, and Ling Chung, three students at the National Taiwan University of the Arts. Audio-described by Mirabai Knight.

AD on the TV

‘The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty’ concludes with its third episode on 28th July. Catch the first two on the BBC iPlayer now. As the Guardian writer Hannah J Davies says, who needs HBO’s ‘Succession’ when you can watch the real thing?

Also on the iPlayer, Room on the Broom (audio-described version). Animated film based on the wonderful children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. A kind witch invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat. The gang ultimately saves the witch from a fearsome dragon, and in gratitude she rewards them with a magnificent new broom which has room for everyone.  – animation for children from a popular story

80s cop classic Dempsey & Makepeace is currently airing on ITV4 with AD for the first time. Episodes daily, times vary but usually early afternoon and available on catch-up (AD catch-up on Android and iOS ITV Hub apps.)

The Real EastEnders. Forget Albert Square – this documentary follows the real-life community of London’s Isle of Dogs, as it loses its battle with gentrification. Follow the story through the eyes of its residents. On All4.

And finally… fed up with bad Zoom meetings?

As part of the #WeShallNotBeRemoved movement, Little Cog, a disabled-led theatre company in Stockton have come up with this helpful guide to hosting an accessible online meeting.

Image: Nickolas Muray, “Frida in Blue Dress, New York City,” 1939. 12.6 x 9.4 inches (32 x 24 cm). The Hecksher Family Collection © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives