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

Mind's Eye News 2017

New term, new shows!

Audio description news for September 2017

This month kicks off with the brilliant, barmy and totally bonkers show The Royal at The Royal Court in Liverpool, where reporters and celebrities are waiting outside the brand new Royal Liverpool University Hospital on the day that it is set to open its doors. The wards are ready; the machines are plugged in, and all of the patients have been moved across. Well, nearly all of them… The audio described performance takes place on Wednesday, 6 September at 7.30. Book early for this madcap comedy and remember that if you wish to use the Mobile Connect system on your phone, it’s a good idea to download it before you come to the theatre.

In the same week your chuckle muscles could be positively aching at the glorious lunacy that is Lip Service. The audio described performance of Lip Service’s Mr. Darcy Loses The Plot is at The Lowry on Saturday, 9 September at 2.30. Again Mobile Connect is available if you choose to make use of it to listen.

Have the time of your life with the ultimate live experience; Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on stage, when it comes to Venue Cymru. Full of passion and romance, heart-pounding music and sensationally sexy dancing, the record-breaking musical is even better than before in this all new production. The audio described performance will be on Friday, 15 September at 5.00.

The following day presents you with two great audio described performances to pick from. You can catch Handbagged at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick at 2.00, or Beautiful, The Carole King Musical at the Bradford Alhambra at 2.30. Handbagged brings together two powerful women for a series of meetings – what did happen when Margaret Thatcher had her audiences with the Queen?

Beautiful, the Olivier award-winning West End show, opens its UK tour in Bradford. There will be audio described shows at several venues on tour, but if you want to be the first to catch it, come to Bradford!

There are two audio described performances taking place the week after. Rita, Sue And Bob Too is on Tuesday, 19 September at 7.30 at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton. This semi-autobiographical play, written by Andrea Dunbar when she was 19, is a vivid portrait of girls caught between brutal childhood and an unpromising future, both hungry for adult adventure

On Thursday, 21 September at 7.30, pack up your troubles with Joan Littlewood’s critically acclaimed satirical First World War musical, Oh What A Lovely War! at the Oldham Coliseum. Performed as an end of pier show by a troupe of Pierrot entertainers, this show relives the horror and dark humour of the First World War through song and dance.

Finally, to bring the month to a close, there are two fantastic audio described performances on Saturday, 30 September. Starring Strictly Come Dancing Champion, Joanne Clifton, and A1 heartthrob, Ben Adams, Flashdance The Musical takes place at the Regent Theatre, Stoke, at 2.00. This is the inspiring and unforgettable story of Alex, a determined welder, who dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Prepare to be blown away by an astonishing musical spectacle with phenomenal choreography to this iconic score including the smash hits Maniac, Gloria, I Love Rock & Roll and of course the sensational title track Flashdance... What a Feeling! Sparks will fly and you’ll dance like you’ve never danced before!

A bona fide American classic, Our Town, is on at the Royal Exchange Theatre at 2.30. Rich with detail and shot through with a distinctive mix of light and shade, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning small-town epic of human existence, remains as theatrically fresh and as topical as ever: Our Town, but also, unmistakably, yours.

For those interested in Audio Description, you might like to consider joining the Audio Description Association, which promotes quality audio description at cultural organisations across the country. All are welcome for our AGM in London on 26 September. The AGM will be followed by an afternoon workshop, examining recorded, as opposed to live, description in theatres and museums. For more information please contact: office@audiodescription.co.uk

We hope you have had a lovely Summer and look forward to welcoming you to a performance soon!


We have a selection of shows for you over the coming weeks.

On Saturday 6 August at 2.30pm, there’s a chance to catch the award-winning production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, when it is audio described at Bradford Alhambra. With ingenious staging and outstanding performances, the play takes us on a journey into the life and mind of its autistic protagonist – Christopher - and his family.

The final audio description of the current tour of SISTER ACT starring Alexandra Burke, takes place at Bristol Hippodrome on Wednesday 9 August at 7.30pm. Join us for a celebration of sisterhood, friendship, and get on down with the nuns!

The first of this season’s audio described shows at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, is on Saturday 12 August at 2pm. AFTER THE DANCE by Terence Rattigan revisits the world of the Bright Young Things now they are not quite so young. This stylish and elegant production, set in the last month before the outbreak of the second World War, portrays a sense of unease and foreboding.

For the little ones this month, we present ROOM ON THE BROOM, at the Lowry, a magical, musical adaptation of the delightful children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler. Join the Witch and her cat, plus a friendly dog, a beautiful bird and a crazy frog, and find out if there will be room on the broomstick! The touch tour and audio description take place on Thursday 13 August at 2pm.

Definitely not for children, nor for the faint-hearted, the final audio described show of the current season at the new Storyhouse Theatre in Chester, is THE BEGGAR’S OPERA. This new adaptation is firmly set in the streets of Chester in the 1700’s, exploring the murkiest goings on, the tales of prostitutes and highwaymen, with a bit of police corruption thrown in. All the music is performed live by the multi-talented cast, and the unfolding of the story shines an interesting light on the roles and powers of men and women. The audio description is on Friday 18 August at 7.30pm – we’ll see you there if you’re brave enough.

Also on Friday 18 August Venue Cymru are offering audio description for the tour of GREASE, at 5pm. The perennially popular tale of teenagers Sandy and Danny and of course – Greased Lightning! – arrives in Llandudno at the theatre by the sea.

The North West theatre seasons start in earnest in September, and audio described shows include: THE ROYAL at Liverpool’s Royal Court, Lip Service’s MR DARCY LOSES THE PLOT, at The Lowry, HANDBAGGED at Theatre by the Lake, in Keswick, RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO at the Octagon, and OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR at Oldham Coliseum. Also, not to be missed in September, is the touring production of BEAUTIFUL at Bradford Alhambra.

All shows will include a touch tour so please ask about this when you book your tickets and headsets. Enjoy the rest of the Summer, and we look forward to seeing you soon.


We are delighted to announce that Mind’s Eye has been shortlisted for the “Visual Impairment Friendly Business of the Year Award” by Henshaw’s Society for Blind People. Results to be announced on 15 June!

Other big news, is that the new theatre, Storyhouse Chester, is now open, and will be offering audio description. The first audio described performance will be for ALICE IN WONDERLAND on 9 July. Other performances to be described, on dates to be announced, include: THE BEGGAR’S OPERA, JULIUS CAESAR and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.

Romeo and Juliet

Another Shakespeare favourite is being audio described at the Liverpool Everyman, on 5 June – ROMEO AND JULIET.

Adams Family

Dame Janet Suzman stars in the latest production at HOME to be audio described – ROSE - on election day, 8 June.

Buddy La Cage Aux Folles

Touring shows with audio description over June and July, include: FUNNY GIRL, at Bradford Alhambra on 10 June; at Nottingham Theatre Royal on 17 June; at Norwich Theatre Royal on 1 July; at Venue Cymru on 20 July and at Wolverhampton Grand on 29 July; MAMMA MIA at Leeds Grand on 15 June; the final audio description for BILLY ELLIOT at Milton Keynes Theatre on 16 June; the first Mind’s Eye descriptions of THE ADAMS FAMILY at Bradford Alhambra on 8 July and LA CAGE AUX FOLLES there on 22 July; BUDDY, also at Bradford on 15 July; A JUDGEMENT IN STONE at Wolverhampton Grand on 5 July; THE WEDDING SINGER on 26 July at Venue Cymru, and THE RAILWAY CHILDREN at The Lowy on 29 July, where there is a tour around the UNSEEN PHOTOGRAPHS exhibition in the Gallery in the morning.

Wolverhampton Arena is offering several shows with audio description – NO WOMAN’S LAND on 9 June, THE BAND, on 13 June, and THE MURDERER on 27 June.


MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL events to be audio described include: a tour at Manchester Art Gallery on 6 July and one at the Whitworth on 9 July, plus RETURNING TO REIMS at Home, Manchester on 12 July, and FATHERLAND at The Royal Exchange on 15 July.

Talking Heads

Other North West plays include the Octagon Theatre Bolton’s production of Alan Bennett’s TALKING HEADS, on 14 June, PERSUASION at the Royal Exchange on 17 June and THE FATHER, starring Kenneth Alan Taylor, at Oldham Coliseum Theatre on 28 June.

Wishing you a lovely sunny couple of months with plenty of theatre going!


Touring shows with audio description during May include some firm favourites:

JOSEPH shows off his amazing technicolour dreamcoat at Bristol Hippodrome on 3 May;

Dirty Dancing

DIRTY DANCING steams up the theatre at Bradford Alhambra on the 6th;

Million Dollar Quartet

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET shows us how four stars made Rock’n Roll history in Llalndudno at Venue Cymru on the 10th;

The Nuns strut their stuff in SISTER ACT at Stoke’s Regent Theatre on the 11th May and at Venue Cymru on the 23rd of May;

The final audio description for the Soul-filled THE COMMITMENTS is at Bradford Alhambra on the 13th May;

THE WEDDING SINGER, the party of the year from 1985 is audio described in Manchester on the 17th of May, whilst on the same day the classic story of Eva Peron unfolds in EVITA at Leeds Grand Theatre;

Platform shoes and lycra flares are the order of the day for MAMA MIA in Milton Keynes on the 20th May and at Leeds Grand on the 15th of June;

And the balletic Billy Eilliot pirouettes at Liverpool Empire on the 25th May. The touch tour will take place at 17.50. The next audio description for this award winning musical will be on the 16th of June in Milton Keynes.

North West productions during May include:

I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, a new musical by Dodie Smith, at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton on the 4th May;

The Lonesome West

THE LONESOME WEST, Martin McDonagh’s black comedy, at Liverpool’s Royal Court on the 10th May;

The Sum

THE SUM, the next in the Everyman season of plays on the 11th of May, a very funny production of Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT at the Royal Exchange on the 13th May;

Winter Hill

There's a new play by Timberlake Wertenbaker, WINTER HILL, at the Octagon Theatre on the 18th of May;

And finally, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ HARD TIMES at Oldham Coliseum on the 24th May.

If you fancy something different, join us for LIGHTNIGHT LIVERPOOL – a one night free arts festival on 19 May. We go on a voyage of discovery around Liverpool, visiting many of the city’s cultural centres as well as buildings not always open to the public. Performances, street theatre, presentations, and happenings – let us know if you’d like to come along – telephone 0151 478 4550 or email charlotte@culture.org.uk



Two big audio described events take place in April! The first is the audio description for BAT OUT OF HELL - on Thursday 13th at Manchester Opera House. This is the only UK venue for the musical, outside of London. So if you fancy an epic show, featuring the very best of Jim Steinman’s numbers made so famous for us by Meatloaf, grab your leather jacket, get all revved up and get to Manchester! For Crying Out Loud – I Love You! Dead Ringer for Love Heaven Can Wait, I’d do Anything for Love, Objects in The Rear View Mirror, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad…. You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth! – just a few of the numbers included in the show!


The second major event is the audio description for FLOOD – ABUNDANCE, PART TWO, being staged in Hull, City of Culture 2017. This theatrical event is the second in the series of four FLOOD events, and Part Two follows the short film FLOOD - FROM THE SEA, PART ONE which is available online and with audio description – contact theteam@hull2017.co.uk

Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat

Also this month, there’s the chance to catch two perennial favourites – GREASE, at Liverpool Empire on the 5th, and JOSEPH at Bradford Alhambra, on the 6th, Nottingham Theatre Royal on the 29th, and then at Bristol Hippodrome on May 3rd.

Blood Brothers

This month in Bristol, BLOOD BROTHERS is audio described on 19th.

Oliver in the Underworld

For younger audiences, THE STORY GIANT is described at Liverpool Everyman on 27th and OLIVER AND THE UNDERWORLD on 6th and DON’T DRIBBLE ON THE DRAGON at Wolverhampton’s Arena on 29th.

Other touring shows with great live music and songs include FUNNY GIRL at Stoke on the 1st, THE COMMITMENTS in Manchester on the 3rd, GHOST THE MUSICAL at Liverpool on the 11th, SUNNY AFTERNOON at Wolverhampton Grand on the 22nd, and THE WEDDING SINGER at Bradford on the 29th.

For something different come along to the HARRIS MUSEUM in Preston on 5th at 11am, for a described tour of contemporary artist, Martin Creed’s current exhibition.

Or drop into the PORTICO GALLERY in Manchester for a new experimental work based on the 18th Century religious sect – The Shakers, on 26th at 6pm. The short performance takes place in this hidden architectural gem in central Manchester and will feature audio description delivered as part of the theatrical event.

North West producing theatres present three great dramas this month with audio description – THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL on the 18th at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, WILLIAM WORDSWORTH at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake on the 22nd and SPRING AND PORT WINE at Oldham Coliseum, also on the 22nd.

And finally, there will be audio description for a new play being performed at the New Wolsey Theatre on the 28th – HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY AND NEVER BE FOUND..

Please book head-sets and touch tour places for theatre shows in advance.

We look forward to welcoming you again soon!


Mad March News!

We come bounding into March with audio description for several of the big and popular musicals:

SISTER ACT is described at Wolverhampton Grand on Saturday 4 March with Joanna Francis in the role of Deloris, and on the same day, SUNNY AFTERNOON the Kinks story, is described in Bradford at the Alhambra. SUNNY AFTERNOON will also be audio described at Wolverhampton Grand on 22 April.

Full Monty

FUNNY GIRL, starring Sheridan Smith is audio described at the Liverpool Empire on 8 March, and at Stoke Regent Theatre on 1 April, starring Natasha J Barnes. GHOST THE MUSICAL is at Venue Cymru on March 10, and at Liverpool Empire on April 11. All will be revealed with THE FULL MONTY at Bradford Alhambra on 18 March.

Other musicals coming up in April, include THE COMMITMENTS, in Manchester, GREASE in Liverpool, JOSEPH in Bradford and Nottingham, BLOOD BROTHERS in Bristol, MAMA MIA in Stoke and THE WEDDING SINGER in Bradford.

Lip Service - Exploding Women

DISABLED ACCESS WEEKEND runs from 10-12 March and over these days we will be providing an audio described tour at Tate Liverpool, an audio described tour of the Lowry Gallery, and a description at both performances of Lip Service’s hilarious new show EXPLODING WOMEN at Gaskell House on the 12th at 1pm and 3pm.

The first production by the new repertory company at the Liverpool Everyman is FIDDER ON THE ROOF and this will be audio described on 9 March. Containing such much-loved songs as “If I Were A Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset”, it asks questions still pertinent today about women’s choices in marriage.

City of Glass

On 15 March HOME, Manchester, presents Paul Auster’s CITY OF GLASS. Reclusive crime writer Daniel Quinn receives a mysterious call seeking a private detective in the middle of the night. As events unfold, he quickly and unwittingly becomes the protagonist in a thriller of his own. He falls under the spell of a strange and seductive woman, and, becoming consumed by his mission, begins to lose his grip on reality. This bold, technically ground-breaking production uses stagecraft, projection, magic and illusion to immerse audiences in the dizzying, disorientating and ultimately transcendental story that helped establish Auster’s reputation as “one of America’s greatest living novelists” (The Guardian).

Meat Pie

A brand new musical unfolds at Oldham Coliseum on 16 March, MEAT PIE AND SAUSAGE ROLL is set against the backdrop of Latic’s memorable 90/91 season. A story of family, loyalty, and football!

For details email mindseyedescription@gmail.com



We are now well into 2017 and many of the new Theatre seasons are underway.

2017 looks to be a busy year for Mind’s Eye, building on the success from 2016, where we provided the audio description for over 170 events, attended by over 1400 blind and partially sighted people, with a similar number of sighted companions taking part in touch tours and benefitting from the audio description service. In addition there were over 120 attenders at various visual impairment and audio description introductory training sessions.

Coming up in February and March at the North West producing theatres, are audio descriptions for:

ASHES, by David Rudkin, - a poignant play about a couple desperate to have a child, directed by David Thacker at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton;

THE SUPPLIANT WOMEN at the Royal Exchange Theatre, - Aeschylus’ surprisingly topical play about fifty women escaping forced marriage.;

and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, directed by Gemma Bodinetz, with the new resident company at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre. If I were a Rich Man…

Two shows are on offer at Oldham Coliseum: the spine-tingler, GASLIGHT by Patrick Hamilton, and the world premiere of MEAT PIE AND SAUSAGE ROLL – a new musical set against Latics’ most memorable season.

TOURING productions over the next couple of months feature some new shows plus some old favourites:

A new tour of EVITA will be described at Stoke’s Regent Theatre and at Bristol Hippodrome, starring Wicked’s Emma Hatton in the title role, as the woman who became the wife of President Peron – Don’t Cry For Me Argentina…..

FUNNY GIRL is being audio described by Mind’s Eye at several different venues over the year – these include over February and March/April: Manchester Palace, Liverpool Empire, Bristol Hippodrome and Stoke’s Regent Theatre. Sheridan Smith plays Fanny Brice, Broadway Star – Don’t Rain on My Parade!

SISTER ACT is audio described at Bradford Alhambra, and Wolverhampton Grand, - the heart-warming and humorous tale of the disco diva who has to hide out with a bunch of Nuns in a convent to stay safe!

Other shows to catch while you can include THE COMMITMENTS, visiting Bristol, GHOST THE MUSICAL at Venue Cymru, and the ever-popular THE FULL MONTY, and SUNNY AFTERNOON, both visiting Bradford in March.

Smaller scale touring shows include a whole host to choose from at Wolverhampton’s Arena Theatre:

She, 10th February, 7:30pm
Dance with Architecture 11th February, 7:30pm
The Best Thing,14th February , 7:30pm
Spilikin, 2nd March, 7:30pm
Meet Fred, 15th March, 7:30pm
Frozen Light, 22nd and 23rd March 7:30pm
Oliver and the Underworld, 8th April, 1:00pm
Don’t Dribble on the Dragon, 29th April, 2:30pm

Meanwhile Lip Service make a welcome return to the New Wolsey Theatre with their latest hilarious offering – MR DARCY LOSES THE PLOT!

Now on sale with early booking recommended, is ELF at The Lowry this Christmas, BEAUTIFUL, THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, at Nottingham, in October, and the new season of plays at Theatre by the Lake, in Keswick.

Please book headsets and places on the touch tour in advance – we look forward to seeing you soon.