STAGETEXT to host its second Captioning Awareness Week


Stagetext, the leading captioning charity for the arts and cultural sectors, will host its second Captioning Awareness Week from 14 to 19 November 2016.

The week aims to raise awareness of captioning and live subtitling in cultural venues, which give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences equal access to arts events such as theatre plays, musicals, museum talks and tours and literary festivals.

In a recent poll, Stagetext found that familiarity with services to make arts and culture more accessible, such as captioning, is currently low amongst adults in the UK (*). Indeed, last year, whilst at least 25,000 people benefited from a captioned or live subtitled event, it is estimated that 11 million people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss – indicating huge numbers could be missing out.

During the week, 14 captioned and live subtitled events will be taking place around the country. This includes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking, Wind in the Willows at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, The Red Barn at the National Theatre in London and a tour, Bedlam – the asylum and beyond, taking place at the Wellcome Collection in London. A competition to be released during the week will also offer Stagetext’s e-news members a chance to win 2 captioned tickets to: Mamma Mia! At the Novello Theatre in London or The Woman in Black at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham.

Theatres, arts venues and caption users are also being encouraged to pledge their support by ‘putting their name in the frame’. Venues, organisations and caption users are being asked to download a special Captioning Awareness Week frame from the Stagetext website, write their or their organisation’s name in it, take a selfie of them holding it and share it on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #CAPaware16.

Melanie Sharpe, Chief Executive, Stagetext said: ‘Audience members with various forms of hearing loss, or anyone who miss a word here and there, can have their theatrical and cultural experiences transformed by captioning and live subtitling, but many are unaware it exists. By unifying arts venues and caption users from around the country, Stagetext hopes to bring to life the passion and excitement of the arts to many more people.’

Caption user Michelle Hedley, has experienced the benefit of captioning in the theatre: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that captions have transformed my theatrical life for the better….Not only do they allow me to access a performance in its entirety, they also act as a social catalyst, as I can then discuss with my friends in the interval and afterwards.’

Lucinda Harvey, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Access Advisor, said: ‘We are always on the lookout for ways to make our work as accessible as possible, and to make theatre for everyone, which is why we were one of the first to take part in Stagetext’s ground breaking captioned performances. As a national theatre, which regularly captions its shows, we are really pleased to be able to encourage more people to enjoy live theatre.’

For more information about captioned and live subtitled events, sign up to the Stagetext e-news.

Events taking place
Captioned performances and live subtitled events taking place during Captioning Awareness Week include (NB: some events are sold out):

Tue 15 Nov 16, 7:30pm
The Red Barn
National Theatre (London)

Wed 16 Nov 16, 7:30pm
Comus – A Masque in Honour of Chastity
Shakespeare’s Globe (London)

Wed 16 Nov 16, 7:30pm
Mary Poppins
Bradford Theatres

Wed 16 Nov 16, 7:30pm
A Tale of Two Cities
Everyman Theatre (Cheltenham)

Thu 17 Nov 16, 6pm
Bedlam – the asylum and beyond
Wellcome Collection (London)

Thu 17 Nov 16, 7:30pm
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
New Victoria Theatre (Woking)

Thu 17 Nov 16, 7:30pm
The Wind in the Willows
Mayflower Theatre (Southampton)

Thu 17 Nov 16, 7:30pm
Still Ill
New Diorama Theatre (London)

Thu 17 Nov 16, 7:45pm
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Theatre Royal Brighton

Thu 17 Nov 16, 7:45pm
The Nest
Young Vic (London)

Fri 18 Nov 16, 7:30pm
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Theatre Royal Drury Lane (London)

Sat 19 Nov 16, 2pm
A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer
National Theatre (London)

Sat 19 Nov 16, 2:15pm
Broken Biscuits
Sheffield Theatres

Sat 19 Nov 16, 2:30pm
Les Misérables
Queen’s Theatre (London)