Man in giant hoop in Greenwich

The Interval, #21, accessible culture online

Welcome to The Interval (#21), VocalEyes’ weekly selection of accessible cultural experiences available online.

At home

Extant Theatre’s Flightpaths Digital is now live

An animated Goze (a blind female performers of medieval Japan) called Taki will guide you through a unique, multi-sensory experience of Japanese cultural history and storytelling, For the best experience, you’re recommended to wear headphones.

Read our CEO’s interview with Extant’s Artistic Director Maria Oshodi.

Donmar Warehouse’s sound installation Blindness now extended to 5 September

Donmar Warehouse will continue to offer audio description at all installations and have also extended the availability of the audio-described and captioned digital options for those not able to attend in person. 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.Both will now be available to purchase up to 5 September, and available to access until 12 September.

For all access enquiries or bookings call 020 3927 2855 or email [email protected]

My Light Shines On: Edinburgh International Festival AD update

SInce last week’s The Interval, the EIF had added two more audio descriptions on YouTube.

Gian Carlo Menotti’s comic opera The Telephone (audio-described version, duration 28 minutes, including an Audio Introduction).

Ben has an urgent train to catch, but hopes to pop an all-important question to his lover Lucy before he departs. Despite Ben’s attempts to get her attention, however, Lucy is continually distracted by calls on her mobile. Increasingly desperate, Ben rushes for his train without proposing – but makes one last-ditch bid to communicate with his beloved.

An Evening with Scottish Ballet (audio-described version, duration 50 minutes, including Audio Introduction).

This compilation includes three duets from world-leading choreographers. Helen Pickett is the pioneering choreographer behind the 2019 International Festival’s acclaimed The Crucible. She revives her shorter duet work Trace, alongside Resident Choreographer Sophie Laplane’s Oxymore, both of which were commissioned for the 2013 International Festival. Alexander Whitley investigates the relationship between technological progress and the human capacity for forethought with Prometheus & Epimetheus, created in collaboration with Digital Artist in Residence Zachary Eastwood-Bloom.

Emerging choreographer Nicholas Shoesmith, who danced the role of John Proctor in The Crucible, presents the world premiere of Catalyst. This specially commissioned work is performed on the Festival Theatre’s empty stage in a gesture of creative resilience.

Three existing digital performances are also made available. Frontiers challenges outdated gender norms in classical ballet, created by San Francisco Ballet choreographer Myles Thatcher. Idle Eyes is an electric piece by Sophie Laplane featuring dancers from Scottish Ballet alongside the company’s Youth Exchange Programme. Tremble, to be released shortly, sees 26 dancers performing in an abstract dining room, from award-winning choreographer-directors Jess and Morgs.

Tales in Sombre Tones

Featuring the artwork of Yorkshire artist Karen Ruffles and short gothic horror stories by American author Sean Walter from their illustrated anthology Tales in Sombre Tones. All 24 tales are being read aloud by Sean himself, accompanied by both British Sign Language and American Sign Language. These are performed against the backdrop of the beautiful original artworks from the book, which are described prior to the story being read. A recorded version with additional captions is available after each show. Two readings are available as recordings (Part 1 and Part 2) with two more livestream shows coming on Sunday 23 August and Sunday 30 August at 9pm on their YouTube Channel.

This Sunday’s stories are: ‘A Question of Evil’ with two old gods discussing the old days; ‘Mercurial’, a figure in a dream turns out to be something much more sinister; ‘Cages’ where monsters aren’t always what you think; ‘Charmed’ a powerful totem takes hold; ‘The Borrower’ – an encounter with a graveyard guardian. ‘In an Instant’, something otherworldly turns out to watch a life altering moment,

3d versions of the illustrations, designed to be experienced by touch, are being created. You can follow the tour and wider project on the Tales in Sombre Tones website and Facebook.


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

A special socially-distanced concert staging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar.  Book now for the 3pm (matinee) performance on Saturday 19 September which will be audio described by VocalEyes.

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

Live poetry performances, virtuosic contemporary juggling and incredible aerial arts. This event will host four 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.


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: Man with dreadlocks in giant hoop in Greenwich, promotion for the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.

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