Given that the title of this production is Stories Of The Streets - Access All Areas I thought it would be appropriate to focus on the access aspect of the production, I personally have not been involved with any access requirements within a production before so I thought it important to find out a little more about the people behind the captioning, British Sign Language (BSL) and audio description to get a full understanding of their role within the show.
The team sit together as they read through 'The Spirit of the Green Lady'
The production team were able to use the performance space today, having the space gave Catherine and the actors the opportunity to explore the area and use appropriate blocking for each story. The Spirit of the Green Lady written by Sherrall Morris was the fourth script to be read through. Sherrall has always written her own journals but it was not until 5 years ago that she gained confidence to start writing and share her work. She attended creative writing classes and worked alongside Disability Arts Cymru. This is her second time writing for SOTS. The location given in her brief was a castle, so growing up in Caerphilly, she based the story around the Green Lady of Caerphilly Castle adding audio descriptions to create a comical modern twist to a traditional tale. Based in a castle this gave the actors a chance to use various places around the performance space.
Megan John and Holly Carpenter making use of the space.
In charge of captioning is Bud Jones, Bud specialises in theatre design and graduated from Wimbledon School of Art, her first captioning job was for The Insatiable Inflatable Candy Lion and from that she was asked to caption for Stories of the Streets.
Bud creating captions from the script which will then be projected in the production.
The Big Wheel written by Derek Palmer uses sign language as part of the production, this will be carried out by Erika James who trained as an actress and a teacher before qualifying as a sign language interpreter. Erika specialises in access to theatre, as well as a BSL she works in audio description and caption. Erika will be accompanying each production using BSL. 99% of the time her work is done by the side of the stage but in this contrasting piece Erika will take to the stage to create a unique and light hearted performance.
Erika and Holly run through 'The Big Wheel'
Three productions on the evening of SOTS will involve audio description which will be delivered by Alistair Still. Alistair worked at a theatre in Coventry in the marketing department where he was introduced to audio description, he received in house training and his role within the theatre changed to marketing and access officer. He visited blind clubs and introduced people to audio description to which he found many people were unfamiliar of. He still wanted to carry on down the theatre route and graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2003 as an actor, using his qualifications in audio description he carried on to co-inside his skills.
Alistair and Sherrall Morris
This is a creative tool that I was completely unaware of and to be able to describe something within a short time frame that captures the moment is a talent in itself. Alistairs input into the productions has added another layer to the script, he approaches each one very unexpectedly but in a creative and comical manner, I really look forward to seeing these performances on the evening and seeing how the audience reacts.
Connor and Megan rehearsing Tongue Tied written by Jeremy Linnell
One thing I have enjoyed about blogging this event is getting to know everyone's own story and how such a diverse group of creatives came to work together to create this unique approach to a production. Having the opportunity to observe the whole event and see it evolve has been fascinating, the past two days have seemed to fly by and as we draw closer to the opening of the show I'll take the chance to say come on down to the Angel Hotel tomorrow evening at 7 to see Stories of the Streets - Access All Areas because I have no doubt in saying it will be well worth a watch!
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