From Smile Club, a sepia photograph of actor Andrea Heaton looking ahead and smiling, showing her white teeth. Superimposed onto her mouth are distorted red lips smiling; and at shoulder-height, a black ink splatter.

What’s On & Online 2nd December 2021

Welcome To What’s On & Online for Thursday 2nd December. Find out what’s coming up with VocalEyes’ latest listings of accessible arts and culture. We’ve added more events to our What’s On at Christmas guide so have a look to find out what’s coming up in your region.

What’s On

Edinburgh Art Festival Visual Description Event: Inverted Streets descriptive tour and workshop, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Monday 6th December, 2:25pm. Free

This event focusses on the collaborative work of Juliana Capes and Alice Betts at the Inverted Streets exhibition. Join a descriptive tour followed by a short workshop.

Booking contact email [email protected]

A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic, audio described. Friday 10th December, 7:30pm. Tickets £20

Jack Thorne’s adaptation of Dicken’s classic fills the auditorium to the brim with mince pies, music and merriment. A unique staging immerses the audience in this uplifting story.

Booking contact number 0344 871 7635
Booking contact email [email protected]

Rare Earth Mettle at Royal Court Theatre, audio described. Saturday 11th December, 2:30pm. Touch tour 1pm. Tickets £15

Three worlds collide on a Bolivian salt flat. Each pursue their own ambitions, but which is the greatest good?

Booking contact number 0207 565 5050 
Booking contact email [email protected]

Manor at Littleton theatre, National Theatre, audio described. Wednesday 15th December, 7:30pm. Touch tour 6pm. Tickets £20

As a violent storm sweeps the coast, a group of strangers unexpectedly arrives in search of shelter. The explosive mix of people must survive the weather and each other.

Booking contact number 020 7452 3961 
Booking contact email [email protected]

The Night Before Christmas at Polka Theatre, audio described. Saturday 18th December, 10am. Tickets from £12

Christmas Eve is brought to life in a new production featuring original music, skilful puppetry and a generous sprinkling of festive magic.

For ages 3-7. Duration 45mins.

Booking contact number 020 8543 4888 
Booking contact email [email protected]

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice at Northern Stage, Newcastle, audio described Saturday 18th December, 1pm. Tickets from £10

Grab your magical marching mop and join us in this enchanting new production. A truly magical treat for the whole family

Booking contact number 0191 230 5151 
Booking contact email [email protected]

Dreamgirls at Liverpool Empire Theatre, audio described. Saturday 18th December, 2:30pm. Tickets from £13

Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

Booking contact number 0333 009 6690 
Booking online

The Smeds and The Smoos at Curve Theatre, Leicester, audio described. Wednesday 22nd December, 1:30pm. Touch tour 12pm. Tickets 10 – £14

A joyful tale of star-crossed aliens.

Soar into space with this exciting adaptation of the award-winning book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Booking contact number 0116 242 3595 
Booking contact email [email protected]

The Christmas Goblin at the Marlowe Studio Theatre, Canterbury, audio described. Tuesday 28th December, 6pm. Tickets £15

A musical adventure of irresistible songs, banging Christmas glitter ball costumes and heartfelt festive cheer

Booking contact number 01227 787787 
Booking contact email [email protected]

The Fir Tree at Shakespeare’s Globe, audio described. Wednesday 29th December, 6:30pm. Touch tour 4:30pm. Tickets: Standing £5. Seated £15 – £49

The story of Christmas told from the perspective of the tree. Under the wintry star-lit sky hear a fireside dose of story, song, candlelight and hope.

Booking contact number 0207 401 9919 
Booking contact email [email protected]

Dick Whittington and His Cat at Watford Palace Theatre, audio described. Thursday 30th December, 3:30pm. Touch tour 2:30pm. Tickets £11 – £32

Fabulous costumes, stunning sets, live music and non-stop laughs on an unforgettable journey to London and beyond.

Booking contact number 01923 335 671 
Booking contact email [email protected]

Coming Up in January and February 2022

There’s lots of audio described theatre coming up in 2022. Some highlights to get you through wintry January and February include:

The Life of Pi at Wyndhams Theatre, London

The Wiz at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

The Ocean at the End of the Lane at Duke of York Theatre, London

9-5 The Musical at New Theatre, Oxford

2:22 A Ghost Story at Gielgud Theatre, London

Frozen the musical at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London

Force Majeure at Donmar Warehouse, London

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: the musical at Sunderland Empire

The Book of dust – La Belle Sauvage at Bridge Theatre, London

Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) at Criterion Theatre, London

Cyrano de Bergerac at Harold Pinter Theatre, London

What’s Online

Smile Club: At Home from Leeds Playhouse

Available until 15th December. You will have access for 48hrs after the date and time of the showing you have booked . Tickets £5 – £15. All performances audio described, signed and captioned.

Welcome to Smile Club. Life’s so much better when you smile. Everyone knows that. So go on – give us a smile. A darkly comic and searingly satirical new one woman show.

Virtually Eastbourne Unlock Christmas. Friday 10th December, 6:45pm – 11pm. Free. On Zoom

Register to join this festive event led by and for visually impaired people. Supported by RNIB, London NFB and Aquabats charities. The evening will include cabaret performances by blind and visually impaired people, a festive quiz, raffle and DJ party. Featured on RNIB Connect radio, for more details email [email protected]

Sense Adventures: Eat Like a Champion, Wednesday 15th December, 7pm. On Zoom. £15

This month’s theme is festive cooking. Join Paralympic champion Lora Fachie MBE in another cook-along. Join this small and lively group to cook with Lora or listen and cook later a one pot meal at the same time as hearing about Lora’s life as a blind athlete and her training regime. Lists of ingredients are sent out in advance and the recipe follows.

Sense Adventures: Creative Writing with Megan Paul. Thursday, 16th December, 7-9pm. On Zoom. £10

Megan is herself blind and has an MA in Creative Writing. Megan leads this monthly group and inspires the wordsmiths amongst us with exercises and inspirational ideas. This month the theme is Radio Plays. The workshop is interactive via Zoom with the opportunity to share your writing.

Book your place for either session by phoning Dee on 07920 144614.

TNF Soundings: Did Oliver Cromwell ban Christmas? Audio 5mins.

Find out facts and fiction about Oliver Cromwell and laws passed during the Puritan Movement.

Wellcome Collection: The unimprovable white cane

Read part 4 of this series. Alex Lee explores whether recent technological additions to the basic white cane design are an improvement on the original or not. With photos by Ian Treherne.

Audio described Christmas TV adverts

If you’ve not seen them on TV already here’s the audio described version of this year’s John Lewis, Waitrose and Tesco Christmas adverts.

John Lewis Christmas advert: Unexpected Guest.

Waitrose 2021 Christmas advert.

Tesco – This Christmas, Nothing’s Stopping Us l.

AD on TV

Our selection of TV programmes with AD for the week ahead. This week don’t miss Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, Friday 3rd December, Channel 4, 8pm.

Kirstie Allsopp’s ultimate festive craft show returns with plenty of handmade magic, special guests, yuletide crafts, fabulous decorations, glorious gifts and celebratory food and drink.

Thursday 2nd December

Portrait Artist of the Year, Sky Arts, 7pm

Winter Walks, BBC4, 7.30pm

Luxury Christmas for Less, Channel 4, 8pm

Quadrophenia: Our Generation, Sky Arts, 9pm

Friday 3rd December

Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, Channel 4, 8pm

Saturday 4th December

Christmas at Highclere Castle, Channel 4, 4.35pm

Titanic: Into the Heart of the Wreck, Channel 4, 610pm

48 Hours to Victory, Channel 4, 7.40pm

Sunday 5th December

Film: Bruce Almighty, ITV2, 3.10pm

The Snowman, Channel 4, 3.25pm

Film: The Grinch, ITV2, 5.10pm

Turkey with Simon Reeves, BBC2, 6pm

Film: Hulk ITV4, 7.35pm

Close to Me, Channel 4, 9pm

Monday 6th December

Britain’s lost Masterpieces, BBC4, 8pm

Guy’s Garage, Channel 4, 9pm

Forensics: The Real CSI, BBC2, 9pm

Tuesday 7th December

Sarah Beeny’s New life in the Country, Channel 4, 8pm

The Cult of Conspiracy: QAnon, Channel 4, 9pm

Impeachment: American Crime Story, BBC2, 9pm

Wednesday 8th December

Inside the Factory, BBC2, 8pm

Paul O’Grady for the Love of Dogs, ITV, 8pm

Thailand: earth’s Tropical Paradise, BBC4, 8pm


Image description: From Smile Club, a sepia photograph of actor Andrea Heaton looking ahead and smiling, showing her white teeth. Superimposed onto her mouth are distorted red lips smiling; and at shoulder-height, a black ink splatter.