Light bulb (off) silhouetted against empty theatre auditorium

The Interval, #20, accessible culture online

Welcome to The Interval (#20), VocalEyes’ weekly selection of accessible cultural experiences available online, and starting also to be available outdoors as well. We’ve also got details of a survey we’d like you to take to help us advise museums and galleries on their re-opening and digital engagement plans.


Jesus Christ Superstar: The Concert: Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London

A special concert staging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. With social distancing, seating capacity has been reduced to 390 seats (down from 1,256). Book now for the 3pm (matinee) performance on Saturday 19 September which will be audio described by VocalEyes.

On Your Doorstep, Greenwich and Dockland International Festival, Monday 31 August

Live poetry performances, virtuosic contemporary juggling and incredible aerial arts. This event will host 4 audio described performances: Smashed2 by Gandini Juggling, Why by Gravity and Levity, My Heart, My Heart by Live Poetry Jukebox and FeelPlay by Christopher Green.

GDIF focus group

GDIF are looking for 5 blind/partially sighted audience members who live in Greenwich or SE London to form a focus group. You will be asked to join the On Your Doorstep event in Greenwich on Monday 31 August and to support the evaluation of the programme and ensure that GDIF and VocalEyes are able to offer best practice in future. You will also be offered priority booking for all free GDIF shows, and travel expenses of up to £16 for the day of 31 August. If you are interested, please contact Alex ([email protected] or  07899 893 935) and let her know: Where you live and your journey to St Alfege Park, Greenwich (near Cutty Sark); Whether you’ve been to GDIF before; your availability on Monday 31 August and if you will be coming with anyone to the shows).

At Home

Donmar Warehouse’s sound installation, Blindness: Listen at home version with audio description

“A stunning achievement and a testament to the power and necessity of art, not least at times of crisis” Sam Marlowe, The Metro.

The sound installation at Donmar Warehouse is now booked out, but it is possible to purchase the audio-described digital version of Blindness to listen at home (£12). The at home version features an audio recording of the sound installation including select audio description over several visual transitions that take place during the sound installation. There is also an accompanying Audio Introduction. The audio description was written and recorded by VocalEyes describer Julia Grundy.

You will be sent an email including a link to the audio file on Saturday 15 August or the day after you make your booking. This is available to purchase until Saturday 22 August and will be available to listen only until Saturday 29 August.

If you have any questions please email [email protected]

My Light Shines On: Celebrating Edinburgh’s enduring festival spirit

Edinburgh International Festival has commissioned some of Scotland’s major national artistic companies to create extraordinary works that audiences can enjoy from their own homes. They seek to bring light and life to sites that must stay empty this year with unique theatrical performances created for film and insights from artists.

Ghost Light by Hope Dickson Leach, audio-described version, duration 39 minutes

Ghost Light is a love letter from the National Theatre of Scotland, evoking moments from Scottish theatrical performances past, present and future. On a vacant stage stands a single light bulb. It is known as a ghost light; lit by the last person to leave the venue and extinguished by the first to arrive. Its constant illumination represents the enduring spirit of theatre in dark times. As we follow the ghost light, it reveals plays and performances that remain alive in the memories of the audiences who loved them, as well as new works reminding us of theatre that will soon return to stages. We encounter members of a phantom cast and crew, who reignite the magic of theatre and celebrate all those who create it.

An outstanding cast of Scottish actors includes James McArdle, Siobhán Redmond, Thierry Mabonga and Anna Russell-Martin. Award-winning filmmaker Hope Dickson Leach and National Theatre of Scotland’s Artistic Director Jackie Wylie have collaborated with dramaturg Philip Howard to conceive this celebration of theatre on film.

Audio-described versions are also promised for Scottish Opera: Gian Carlo Menotti’s comic opera The Telephone and An Evening with Scottish Ballet.

Reading Fringe Festival: For the Love of an Old Chunk of Metal, by Leslee Barron

Photographer Leslee Barron has been documenting her love for Reading’s last, rusting gas tower, capturing its many moods. Leslee says: “I’ve been lucky enough to witness our last remaining gas tower, in its many atmospheric moods, as it stands proud at the bottom on my road. Hopefully, I’ve captured my love for this rusting chunk of urban architecture, through my digital paintings and photographs.” Watch the film (duration 19 minutes 38 seconds), audio-described by Roz Chalmers.

The Photographers’ Gallery, Slow Looking: Tyrone Williams, Saturday, 15 August, 15.00, Free

 Join this online edition of slow looking featuring three photographs by Tyrone Williams, a photographer from Northampton. His work focuses on the beauty in the mundane, and trying to find an understanding of thoughts and feelings through the image. With audio description by Caroline Dawson and discussion. Depending on the discussion, this session should last 50 to 70 minutes.

Online survey for users of audio description at museums and heritage sites

VocalEyes would like to get your views about museums as they plan for re-opening, and are also moving many live events (including access events) online. We’ve devised a survey with the help of several museum access managers, and we’d be really grateful if you would take the time to complete it. There are 39 questions in total, but all are optional, with a mixture of multiple choice and open-ended answers. Take the Survey (SurveyMonkey) or download the Survey Large Print version (Microsoft Word, Arial 16pt).

Image: Bare lightbulb silhouetted against empty theatre auditorium, promotional image for Ghost Light.

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