Painting of hunters in snowy winter scene with

The Interval 36

Welcome to The Interval, no.  36, this week’s listings of accessible arts and culture throughout December.


Shakespeare’s Globe, Christmas at the (Snow) Globe, audio-described online film (by VocalEyes). Monday 21 December – 5 January 2021,

Tickets £15, Classroom tickets available for £30, Free access to all UK care homes, children’s hospitals and wards

Sandi Toksvig and her merry company bring you laughter, carols and the joy of Christmas from Shakespeare’s Globe in an online festive film. Put on your Christmas jumpers, get your mulled wine and mince pies to join the #SNOWGLOBE watch party on Twitter. Monday 21 December from 6:30pm.

If you can’t get enough of Sandi Toksvig then listen to her new Radio 4 series, Hygge on BBC Sounds. Sandi and guests bring you comfort as they explore the Danish notion of Hygge (getting cosy!). First episode features artist Grayson Perry and comedian Sindhu Vee. Episodes approx. 30 mins each.

Coming up in the next two weeks

Queer House Party and Cybertease: SolidariteaseFriday 11 December, 9pm, Z0oom. Free but donations welcome.

Join another audio-described party, this time in solidarity of sex workers who have lost income during the pandemic. Lots of music, performers and dancing.

Opulent Mobility Artist TalkSunday 13 December, 6pm, Zoom

This annual group exhibit re-imagines disability as opulent and powerful. Join the artists of Opulent Mobility 2020 as they discuss their art, disability, and their involvement with the exhibit.

Make some noise: sing for the sake of it, The Watermill Theatre, Wednesday, 16 December. 1pm, Zoom, free

An online singing session focussing on your wellbeing whatever your singing ability!

Donmar Warehouse, Looking a Lot Like Christmas, festive concert, From Wednesday, 16 December, 7:30pm.

Enjoy a festive concert of music, sketches, and poetry, bringing you joy and reflection at this special time of year. Includes performances from Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Minnie Driver, Giles Terera, Rosalie Craig and Sharon Rose. Streaming for free on YouTube with VocalEyes audio introduction available.

Grand Junction, London, Christmas Jazz by CandlelightFriday 18 and Saturday 19 December, 4:30pm, 6:30pm & 8:30pm, Tickets from £15.

Join the Sound Express band in a beautiful setting for this socially distanced event.  enjoy your favourite holiday classics with a brilliant, jazzy twist!

Scottish Ballet, The Secret Theatre, audio-described film, Monday 21 December, 6pm. Available until Thursday 24 December. free (duration: about 1 hour)

Booking in advance essential.  Find out the story of The Secret Cinema with descriptions of characters, sets and movements.

Christmas Bedtime Story with the ElfThursday 24 December, 6:15pm. Facebook Live.

Get Christmas Eve off to a magical start with this free, online story.

Royal Collection TrustArt description sessions, Z0om., first Tuesday of each month, free, duration: about 1 hour

Find out more about paintings from one of The Queen’s official royal residencies, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. With art experts to describe the paintings and historians to give background to the artist. Interactive sessions with time for questions. Booking essential as places are limited.

Watch/listen anytime

British Museum, The Parthenon Galleries, audio-described tour

A free self-guided tour for the Parthenon galleries (Room 18 & 18b) commissioned by the British Museum from VocalEyes. The tour consists of 12 stops which provide an introduction to some of the sculptures that decorated the Parthenon. A touch tour component has also been created, and will be added in the future.

National Galleries of Scotland, In the Mind’s Eye: Wandering Shadows, audio-described talk, Soundcloud

Join artist Juliana Capes as she describes Wandering Shadows, a monumental and dynamic Scottish landscape painting by Peter Graham.

Talking Newspaper Federation Soundings, Bruegel’s famous painting Hunters in the Snow, audio-described, about 4 minutes

Royal Court Theatre, London, Royal Court: Playwright’s podcast

Go back through the archives of The Royal Court’s playwright’s podcast series. Simon Stephens talks to leading playwrights about their lives, work and relationship with the Royal Court. Series 1 episode 1 starts with Enda Walsh

Christmas at the theatre

Audio Description Association, A View on Access (Soundcloud, 7 minutes)

Listen to ADA’s Tim Calvert’s round-up of socially-distanced accessible pantos to enjoy this festive season.

Bridge Theatre, LADS, audio-described, Thursday 17 – Saturday 19 December, £19-£21.

This festive season join the LADS for a rip-roaring celebration of the artists who are kicking down doors and taking names. Originally created by three award-winning, queer female artists – Lilly SnatchDragon, Scarlett O’Hora and Lolo Brow in a sweaty attic in Camden (HerUpstairs). The LADS show has since sold out venues across London, including The Bush Theatre, The Royal Vauxhall tavern and The Vaults Theatre. Book tickets for LADS.

Liverpool Playhouse, A Christmas Carol, audio-described by Mind’s Eye, Thursday 17 December, 7:30pm, tickets £15-£35.

Join Scrooge on his journey through Christmas past, present and future in this magical and unforgettable Dickens Christmas classic.

Norwich Theatre Royal, Panto in a Pickle, audio-described by Mind’s Eye,  Saturday 19 December, 2pm, tickets from £13.50.

A festive treat for all ages. Characters have got muddled and ended up in the wrong panto! Help sort out the mess in this fun extravaganza.

Norwich Theatre Royal, A Circus Carol, audio-described by Mind’s Eye,  Saturday 19 December, 4.30pm, tickets from £17.50

Join a spectacular show of acrobatics and ghostly tricks in this re-imagining of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.

AD on the TV

Some highlights of audio-described programmes on ITV this week sent from  Audio Description Production Manager and VocalEyes trustee, Jonathan Penny.

Coronation Street, Friday 11 December, 7:30pm.

Tune in for the culmination of Coronation Street’s thrilling 60th-anniversary week. Officially the longest-running TV soap opera in the world and legend has it, the first programme to be broadcast with Audio Description in the UK.

 The A Team (2010 film version), Saturday 12 December, 9pm

The Real Full Monty on Ice, Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 December.

Christmas cheer

Southwark Cathedral, Christmas Classics by Candlelight, Wednesday 23 December, 7:15pm. Tickets from £20

Listen to your favourite festive tunes live as Fever takes over one of the city’s most beautiful spaces.  With a hand-picked string quartet and singer to spread some sonic cheer under the magical glow of candlelight. Prepare to be dazzled by live renditions of timeless Christmas classics!

Manchester Actors Platform, Save our Christmas, audio described and captioned, YouTube, duration: about 4 minutes

Spread some joy, watch this short video for some Christmas magic!

BBC, Songs of Praise Top 10 Christmas Carols in the UK, YouTube, 40 minutes

Listen and sing along to your favourites!

Christmas crafts

Make your own Christmas sleigh bells to put a smile on everyone’s face! All you need is pipe cleaners and bells. Simply thread the bells along the length of pipe cleaner stick. You can use as many bells as you wish to depending on length of pipe cleaner and weight of bells.

Or try this idea from Saga to make your own dried orange Christmas garland.

Christmas Quiz answers

How did you get on with last week’s quiz to guess the song from the first line? Here are the answers:

  1. All I want for Christmas is you.
  2. Do you hear what I hear?
  3. Do they know it’s Christmas?
  4. I wish it could be Christmas every day.
  5. Must be Santa.
  6. Mary’s Boy Child
  7. Winter Wonderland.
  8. Mistletoe and Wine.
  9. Step into Christmas.
  10. Let it Snow.

Christmas cracker jokes

Why is it best to think of 2020 like a panto? Because eventually it’s behind you!

Why couldn’t Mary and Joseph join the work conference call? Because there was no zoom at the inn!

Why are Santa’s reindeer allowed to travel on Christmas Eve? They have herd immunity!

Image: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Hunters in the Snow, also known as The Return of the Hunters, 1565, oil-on-wood, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna