Richard Butchins stands in front of a large colourful painting

The Interval 31

Welcome to the 31st edition of The Interval, our weekly listing of accessible arts and culture. Find out what’s coming up this week and more to enjoy throughout November and beyond. We also feature fireworks night and audio-described exercises to keep us healthy through this next lockdown.

Next week

Emilia, by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, from Tuesday 10 November 7:30pm, available to stream for two weeks, audio-described.

Celebrate women’s voices through the story of this trailblazing, forgotten woman. 400 years ago, Emilia Bassano wanted her voice to be heard. It wasn’t. Could she have been the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets? What of her own poems? Why was her story erased from history?

Originally recorded at The Vaudeville Theatre in May 2019. ‘Pay what you can’ to watch this funny, empowering revolutionary show. Book tickets at Join the Watch Party on Instagram or Twitter @EmiliaThePlay #EmiliaWatchParty

The Rose Playhouse, Michael Pennington – In little place a million: an actor’s perspective, Tuesday 10 November 7pm, Zoom, duration: 1 hour, including Q and A

Actor and Shakespeare scholar Michael Pennington discusses how the dramatist’s writing was affected by the nature of the theatres for which he wrote, so vastly different from those of today. He argues that he and his actors developed a technique that allowed them both the cinematic intimacy and the heroic scale appropriate to the Rose and the Globe and other playhouses.

Hay Festival Book of the month: Poor by Caleb Femi, Tuesday 10 November, 7pm

Register here for the live talk and Q and A. Caleb Femi talks about November’s book of the month Poor alongside Max Porter. In his debut collection, Caleb Femi combines poetry and original photography to explore the trials, tribulations, dreams and joys of young Black boys in twenty-first century Peckham. Poor contemplates the ways in which the South London youth are informed by the built environment of concrete walls and gentrifying neighbourhoods that form their stage.

Poor is available in paperback, to download on kindle or as an audiobook.

Coming Soon

Hay Festival Digital Winter Weekend 2020

From Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 November, the winter digital Hay festival brings you many conversations and performances from stars of literature, music, sport, journalism, film, and TV. The dazzling line-up includes Dawn French, Benjamin Zephania, Elton John and Arsene Wenger to name but a few. Join to share stories, hopes and laughter, discussing some of the biggest questions from 2020!

Explore the full programme of free events and register now. If you have any questions please contact [email protected].

Listen Any time

BBC 4, The Disordered Eye (Available on the iPlayer for 30 days)

Disabled artist and film-maker Richard Butchins investigates whether good vision equals great art and looks at modern and historical artists through the lens of their impaired vision. Featuring various blind and visually impaired artists, including Keith Salmon, Aaron McPeake and Sally Booth. Read the Guardian review.

Explore the Guggenheim

Be transported to New York and explore the Guggenheim with this new Sensory Guide. There are 10 tracks, each describing a sensory aspect of the space from sound to touch and light. Free to download from the Bloomberg Connect app, Soundcloud or iTunes, bringing you from the busy bustling streets of New York into the iconic museum itself.

Soundhouse: Intimacy and Distance at The Barbican

Listen to a selection of experimental podcasts and creative radio from around the world, exploring ideas of intimacy and distance. Tune in and listen any time and visit each of three ‘listening rooms’, curated by audio artists, Ariana Martinez, Axel Kacoutié and Arlie Adlington.


The Poetry Foundation, Audio Poem of the Day

Start your day with an audio poem from The Poetry Foundation. Listen to classic and contemporary poems read by poets and actors.


It’s the 5th November when you’ll hear the exploding bangs and crackles of fireworks as their rainbow colours light up the sky. But how do they make that sound? Here’s all you need to know to impress your family and friends!

In with a bang!

Imagine the challenges of audio describing a fireworks display. Read Mind’s Eye and VocalEyes describer Anne Hornsby’s experience from the opening of Hull’s City of Culture in 2017.

Keep active at home this winter

British Blind Sport have started a new Active at Home programme. Join the regular live work outs. All activities are accessible and enjoyable for all abilities. Join their Facebook group.


Old Vic: In Camera,  A Christmas Carol, Saturday, 12 December–Thursday, 24 December 2020 (Zoom, audio described by Roz Chalmers and Alison Clarke)

We can now confirm that Andrew Lincoln will be playing Ebenezer Scrooge this year. Information about the the full cast.

There will be a special In Conversation event on Thursday 17 December at 8:30pm. Dermot O’Leary will be joined by Andrew Lincoln to discuss being part of this year’s production. Tickets cost £20 per device and can be booked from 10am on Monday 9 November.

Photo: Disabled artist and film-maker Richard Butchins  stands in front of a large colourful painting, wearing a pair of thick-lenses glasses, what appear to be sim specs,  that temporarily simulate a visual impairment for the wearer. Promotion image for BBC4’s The Disordered Eye.