• Anne Hornsby | Mind's Eye
  • Anne Hornsby | Mind's Eye
  • Anne Hornsby | Mind's Eye
  • Anne Hornsby | Mind's Eye

Mind's Eye News 2011 - 2012


Summer With Mind's Eye

Posted July 2012
Like A Fish Out Of Water

Hot (fingers crossed!) dates in July, are 6 and 13 for English National Ballet’s Like a Fish Out of Water, which forms part of the Hidden London programme of events for London 2012.  Described as a fusion of dance, water and fashion, the promenade performances celebrate London’s historic lidos. The performances take place both in and out of the water although audience members remain on land! Tickets must be booked in advance as the numbers on each tour are limited. Audio description is available at 3pm on 6 July at Hillingdon Lido and from 10.30am on 13 July at Hampton Pool. 

For more details contact: ballet.org.uk or molpresents.com

Alexandra Park in Oldham

Also braving the elements is another outdoor show – Star Cross’d, in Alexandra Park in Oldham. Ian Kershaw has written a new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet featuring dance, a brass band, a sprinkle of magic and a whole lotta love! The audio described performance of the promenade piece is on July 19th. Bring a picnic and a waterproof. coliseum.org.uk

More Shakespeare with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, audio described at the Royal Exchange on July 28, in a production brought to Manchester by the Lyric Hammersmith and Filter Theatre, described by The Daily Telegraph as “marvellously irreverent and pure bliss”. Visit royalexchangetheatre.org.uk for more information

Legally Blonde The Musical

Touring productions over the summer include the highly entertaining and fun Legally Blonde, at Bradford on July 11 and at Milton Keynes on August 8. Feel free to visit  bradford-theatres.co.uk  atgtickets.com/Milton-Keynes-Theatre to find out more.

In addition, don't miss Murder on the Nile, with Kate O’ Mara is at Bradford on July 21st. This is promising to be a great show.

Murder On The Nile

Other news, Chris Berry is describing Dry Rot at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton on July 28, grandtheatre.co.uk and Eleanor Walk describes the ever-popular Grease at Venue Cymru on August 11th.  venuecymru.co.uk

And a reminder that The Phantom of the Opera is at Leeds Grand on September 1, so if you haven’t already booked for this spectacular show, do so soon. leedsgrandtheatre.com

DADAFEST runs in Liverpool over July and August with many of the events being audio described.  Check out their site www.dadahello.com for details, which will also be tweeted @MindsEyeArts and put on the Mind’s Eye Facebook page.

Bedroom Farce

And finally, very good news that Theatre By the Lake will be offering audio description on its three main house shows -

  • Bedroom Farce: Thursday the 30th of August, 2pm
  • Dry Rot: Saturday the 27th of October 2pm
  • Great Expectations: on Saturday the 10th of November at 2pm

Call their Box Office on: 017687 74411, or visit their website: www.theatrebythelake.com.



Hot News For June

Posted June 2012

Just announced: Anne Hornsby is going to be working with English National Ballet on an exciting outdoor project. In July there will be two audio described performances of the world premiere piece Like A Fish Out of Water which takes place at the Lidos at the Hillingdon Leisure Centre, Uxbridge, and Hampton Pool! The Hillingdon date is 6 July at 3pm and the Hampton date 13 July at 10.30am.

Also confirmed at Leeds Grand Theatre are: Phantom of the Opera on 1 September and Oliver on 29 November.

The Octagon Theatre has announced a whole year of theatre, complete with audio description and these dates are on the showlist link on the Events page on the Mind’s Eye website. Plays include: Our Country’s Good, Peter Pan, Of Mice and Men and Piaf. More details from www.octagonbolton.co.uk.

Touring shows in June include Wonderful Town, starring Connie Fisher, visiting Norwich Theatre Royal; Starlight Express zooming around on roller skates in Bradford, www.bradford-theatres.co.uk; the shockingly funny Avenue Q in Liverpool, www.liverpoolempire.org.uk; and the highly charged Dirty Dancing in Leeds, www.leedsgrandtheatre.com. Robert Powell stars in Doctor in the House, in Wolverhampton, www.grandtheatre.info and Matthew Kelly and Clare Sweeney perform Educating Rita in Bradford, www.bradford-theatres.co.uk.

At Liverpool Playhouse all three of Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquests are being described in the same week! Visit www.everymanplayhouse.com for more details.

The Royal Exchange presents the sumptuous Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde and the final Coliseum show at the Grange Arts Centre is Dumb Show by Joe Penhall, Information can be found by visiting coliseum.org.uk.

Sue Devaney plays Mari Hoff in Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton. Sabbat returns to the Dukes and Spike Theatre Company present The Games at the Brindley.

In the Visual Arts this month all are welcome to the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston, for an audio described tour of a current exhibition.



It's All Good News For Mind's Eye In May

Posted May 2012

Just announced: Audio Description for the first time for the pantomime at the Opera House! This is PETER PAN in January 2013.

Other new shows for audio description include the Royal Shakespeare Company’s JULIUS CAESAR at Bradford and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in Leeds, both in September.

Theatre by the Lake

If you are interested in attending audio description of the Summer/Autumn season at Theatre by the Lake, please contact their marketing department as soon as possible. The main-house Season includes DRY ROT, BEDROOM FARCE and GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

Audio Descriptions this month include Blood Brothers, starring Maureen Nolan, as Mrs Johnstone at the Bradford Alhambra and on the same day, Maxine Laing and Eleanor Walk will be describing the acclaimed Miss Julie at the The Royal Exchange.

Chicago at the Wolverhampton Grand

Two brilliantly staged and choreographed musicals are described this month - Dirty Dancing at Milton Keynes Theatre, tickets available via ATG Tickets and Chicago at The Wolverhampton Grand.

Propellor’s highly entertaining Winter’s Tale is at Theatre Royal Norwich and Ramon Tikaram plays the King of Siam in The King and I at Bradford’s Alhambra.

One of Anne’s favourite shows to describe is Sister Act, which hits Liverpool Empire this month, with Michael Starke playing Monsignor and Denise Black as the Mother Superior

At the Octagon Lynda Rooke plays Pat Phoenix alongside John McArdle in The Queen of the North and on tour in Llandudno the original cast of Birds of a Feather are united again. Visit www.venuecymru.co.uk for more details.

Museum Tour

Everyone is welcome to the Imperial War Museum on May 27 for a described tour and handling session. Visit www.iwm.org.uk/north for more details. The programme is as follows:

1.30 pm Introducing the Museum Tour
2.15 pm A Closer Look at Once Upon a Wartime - Museum-led talk & presentation for adult visitors.
3.30 pm TimeStack – Artefact handling session
4.00 pm Visit to selected areas of the Museum


April Showers and April Shows With Mind’s Eye

Posted April 2012

All The Fun Of The Fair

Get out of the rain in April and come to a show!

There are plenty to choose from!

On tour we have the comedy, “Birds of a Feather” at the Regent in Stoke, www.ambassadortickets.com/Regent-Theatre, with Pauline Quirke, Lesley Joseph and Linda Robson; the sumptuous “King and I”, in Liverpool, www.liverpoolempire.org.uk; the hilarious “Sister Act” in Leeds, www.leedsgrandtheatre.com; David Essex in “All The Fun of the Fair” in Wolverhampton; Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Nile” at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, www.floralpavilion.com;  and the Susan Boyle story, “I Dreamed a Dream”, in Bradford and Liverpool. You can visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk or www.liverpoolempire.org.uk for more details

For The Younger Members Of The Audience

Swallows and Amazons

For the younger members of the audience, the ever-popular children’s story, "The Tiger Who Came To Tea", is being described at the Lowry, www.thelowry.com, whilst the brilliantly imaginative "Swallows and Amazons" is at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, http://www.grandtheatre.co.uk/.

Wonderful Town

The Lowry, the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Halle Orchestra combine forces to produce " Wonderful Town", starring Connie Fisher. www.thelowry.com. If you would like to come along, do book quickly as the first audio described show is fully booked and there are only a few tickets left for the second on the 18th.


If you enjoy Drama you have several treats in store - you can meet up with  "Alfie" when he visits the Grange Arts Centre in Oldham, www.coliseum.org.uk, whilst the captivating "Winslow Boy" plays at the Octagon www.octagonbolton.co.uk; Alan Bennett’s "The History Boys" is the Easter production at Theatre by the Lake, theatrebythelake.co.uk; and the Globe's production of "Henry V" is in Liverpool: www.everymanplayhouse.com.

Tour Of The Egypt Gallery

The Descriptive Tour of the Egypt Gallery at Manchester Museum and the Handling Session will begin at 10.30am on Thursday 26 April. Meet in the Foyer and we'll see you there. www.museum.manchester.ac.uk.

New dates have been added for the following shows at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford. & at The Liverpool Empire. Please see the list below.

22nd September 2.30pm 42nd Street - (AT)
3rd November 2.30pm The Rise & Fall of Little Voice - (AT)
28th November 2pm The Mousetrap - (AT)
7 July 2012 7.30pm Chicago - (LE)
15 November 7.30pm 42nd Street - (LE)

Descriptive Tours

Descriptive Tours at Gallery Oldham are taking place on Thursday 13 September for the Liam Spencer exhibition and on Thursday 15 November for the Henshaws Heritage Exhibition "Thomas Henshaw: One Man’s Vision".

Both tours begin at 11am, www.galleryoldham.org.uk

Remember the Lowry offers personal audio described tours around the Galleries – ring their Box Office on 0843 208 6000 for more details!

New shows and events are being added all the time, so keep in touch through Facebook or drop us an email.

We look forward to seeing you at a Gallery or Theatre soon. For full listings, click on the link on the Events page on the website.



New shows to book for!

Posted March 2012

Audio Described Opera

March begins with an audio description of Verdi’s opera AIDA at the Royal Albert Hall.  This new production, directed by Stephen Medcalf and designed by Isabella Bywater, is set on an archaeological site in Victorian times. As Amelia Edwards, Victorian Writer, Painter and Egyptologist watches the archaeologists uncover ancient treasures, it is as if the ghosts of the past have been disturbed and come to life before her eyes. The Opera features a cast of over 100 and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Andrew Greenwood.

For those not able to get to the production, but who would like to know more about it, an audio CD is available from Lisa Pope at the Hall.  Lisa is also the person to contact about future audio described shows there. Contact lisap@royalalberthall.com for more details.

March Shows

Robert Cavanah as Macbeth. Photo by Ian Tilton.

Robert Cavanah as Macbeth. (c) Ian Tilton

During March audio descriptions take place for Ayckbourn’s hectic farce, TAKING STEPS, directed by Robin Herford for the Oldham Coliseum in their new home at the Grange Arts Centre; Gemma Bodinetz’ blistering production of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the Liverpool Playhouse:  the gritty Northern classic, SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING at the Royal Exchange Theatre, and David Thacker’s bloody MACBETH at the Octagon Theatre.

On Tour at a Theatre near you!

Touring shows this month include:  rude puppets in AVENUE Q in Wolverhampton; the perennially popular Stephen Daldry production of AN INSPECTOR CALLS and the Susan Boyle story – I DREAMED A DREAM in Bradford; an imaginative production of SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS visiting Norwich; BIRDS OF A FEATHER in Wolverhampton with Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph; the spectacular new production of THE KING AND I , also in Wolverhampton, and the hugely entertaining SISTER ACT for Vocaleyes, in Nottingham

The Susan Boyle Musical - I Dreamed A Dream & Dirty Dancing


Visual Arts

The Henshaws Visual Arts Group had a very successful visit to the CHAMELEONS AND SHAPESHIFTERS exhibition by Michael Shaw at Gallery Oldham last month and Beverley Norris, one of the group, wrote the following:

"Once again, thank you for organizing yet another exhibition which initially I felt that I wouldn't have the breadth of capacity to appreciate and enjoy. Wrong again!  As it was described and explained so incredibly well by Anne (Hornsby), the full extent of the works could be appreciated by all present. It was indeed a rare treat to have the sculptor, Mike on hand to answer any questions fielded to him thus making the whole experience as complete as possible.  Gallery Oldham’s hospitality is always superb and it is like coming home to visit there.  The temperature was bracing this visit but, it was matched and beaten by the warmth of our welcome.  Over the last year my appreciation and comprehension has been stretched but, the experiences are something I feel privileged to have and have developed my ability and capacity to enjoy more than previously thought."

We are particularly pleased that Manchester Museum has been able to confirm the audio described visit to the Egypt Gallery on Thursday 26 April, 10.30-12.  This will include a tour around the Gallery and a handling session.

We look forward to seeing you at a show soon – the latest showlist can be found on our Events page.



News From Mind's Eye 2012

Posted January 2012


Due to popular demand the Lowry are offering a second audio described performance of WONDERFUL TOWN. This will be on Wednesday 18 April at 7.30pm. Please book your headsets and your places on the touch tour with the Box Office as soon as possible – www. thelowry.com – or ring 0843 208 6000.

Record Attendances Over December and January!

Audiences for Mind’s Eye Audio Described events over the festive season were the highest ever, with over 764 people attending Christmas shows and pantomimes.  This includes the many parents, friends, carers, teachers and companions who also came along to touch tours!  A big thank you to all the Actors, Stage Management Teams, Crew and Technicians who made this possible!

Touring Shows Being Audio Described This Season:


Mind's Eye Mailing List

If you would like to be included on our Mailing List then either email mindseyedescription@gmail.com or fill in our form on our website.  That way you’ll be the first to hear of new shows and events being audio described.

Visual Arts Tours

This season we are taking in exhibitions at the Harris Museum and Gallery on February 8th in the afternoon and at Gallery Oldham on February 9 in the morning.  A possible visit to the Egyptology Gallery at Manchester Museum will be announced shortly.

Remembering Gary

I was honoured to be able to audio describe the Tribute to Gary Thompson held at the Manchester Art Gallery recently. It gave many of us an opportunity to remember and admire this talented young man and to celebrate his achievements.

Anne Hornsby



Christmas and New Year with Mind's Eye

Posted December 2011

December is Panto season for Mind's Eye

Francis Tucker as Dottie Twanky and Adam Keast as Sgt Pepper, in a previous Liverpool Everyman panto photo credit Robert Day

We love panto! Yes it’s true,
Oh no you don’t! Oh yes we do!
We’re into December, and so here goes
Here’s to twenty Christmas shows!

Can we beat last year’s record attendance figures of over 400 across the season?

Cinderella and Aladdin are the most popular pantomimes this year, with three different productions of each to audio describe – a traditional version of Cinderella in Cambridge with Soul Star, Sheila Ferguson, a Rock n Roll version at Liverpool Playhouse with Francis Tucker and Adam Keast , and Michael Hurst is describing Cinders for the Brindley Arts Centre, where one of the described performances is already sold out!

We have an Aladdin at Venue Cyrmu with Jason Gardiner,  another at the Regent, Stoke, starring Joe Swash, and a third at Milton Keynes Theatre with Gareth GatesSnow White, with Sam Kane and Linda Lusardi, at the Grand in Wolverhampton, Dick Whittington, with Finetime Fontayne in Oldham and Robin Hood with Billy Pearce in Bradford complete the Panto scene.

In addition are the family shows – the BFG at the Dukes, The Firework Maker’s Daughter in Keswick, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Bolton,and The Wind in the Willows by the Library Company at the Lowry.  Seasonal favourites, Scrooge with Tommy Steele and White Christmas with Aled Jones are at both the Lowry and the Liverpool Empire.

Maxine Laing and Eleanor Walk describe You Can’t Take It With You at the Exchange in Manchester , whilst The King and I, in Llandudno, Top Hat in Leeds, and Dirty Dancing at the Palace Theatre, Manchester also promise excellent entertainment!

Confirmed for the New Year are Dreamboats and Petticoats, at the Playhouse Theatre in London on February 23, and Aida at the Royal Albert Hall on March 3.

Visual arts tours take in the Ford Madox Brown exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery on December 1, and looking ahead to the New Year, a tour at the Harris in Preston on February 8 and one at Gallery Oldham on the 9th.  On World Holocaust Day, January 29, Chris Berry will be providing  audio description at Imperial War Museum North.

Download the full list from the Events page on the website.  You can keep up to date with all the latest news by clicking the Facebook link on the Mind’s Eye site.  You don’t need to be a member to access the page.  You can also listen in to recent recorded descriptions by clicking the Sound Cloud link.

We wish you all the best for the Christmas Season and every happiness for the New Year, and we look forward to welcoming you to a theatre or gallery very soon! 


November News

A Busy Winter Season

Posted November 2011

November kicks off with zany Su Pollard as a whisky swilling, man-hunting Miss Hannigan in ANNIE at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, www.grandtheatre.info, on November 5.  

Then on the 10th, we have the frantic and frenetic Alan Bennett farce HABEAS CORPUS at the Octagon theatre, with Margot Leicester, directed by David Thacker. www.octagonbolton.co.uk

Leeds Grand reverberates with classic QUEEN music on Saturday 12th, for WE WILL ROCK YOU, www.leedsgrandtheatre.com whilst the equally entertaining SISTER ACT, with its brilliant interpretation of 70s music, is being audio described in Bradford on November 30th. www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

GREASE hits Liverpool, on the 17th, starring Liverpool’s own Ray Quinn & Carina Gillespie and Guest starring The X Factor's Rhydian Roberts as 'Teen Angel'. www.liverpoolempire.org.uk

Christmas shows begin, oh yes they do, on November 19th with the sprightly Tommy Steele in SCROOGE at Venue Cymru, www.venuecymru.co.uk and the final CALENDAR GIRLS audio description will be given at the Liverpool Empire on November 23rd.

For something completely different, come along to Jonathan Harvey’s BEAUTIFUL THING at the Royal Exchange on November 26th. www.royalexchange.org.uk

For those who enjoy Visual Arts, we have a tour of the Valette exhibition at the Lowry on November 10th, from 10.30 – 12.00 - thelowry.com - come and hear about the skills of this French artist who adopted our rainy City and who was a teacher to LS Lowry – then on December 1st at Manchester Art Gallery, we visit the popular Ford Madox Brown pre-Raphaelite exhibition. www.manchestergalleries.org

For details of dates, times and contact numbers, visit our Events page, download the Events Calendar, visit us on Facebook, Mind’s Eye, or use the email form on the Contacts page.


Warhol and Hornsby in Salford, plus new season guides

Posted October 2011

An audio guide to the Warhol exhibition at the Lowry is now available for collection at the venue or to download from the website. This guide accompanies this stunning exhibition which focuses on Warhol and the Diva.

In addition, new season guides have been recorded for the Octagon, the Royal Exchange, the Lowry and the Royal Northern College of Music. Anne is giving an interview this Friday for Insight Radio on up-coming Mind’s Eye events and is off to Dublin to carry out training with curators of the Dublin Contemporary Bi-ennial Festival in readiness for the exhibition in September and October.

For more details, please visit www.thelowry.com/events/andy-warhol-divas/audio