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

Mind's Eye News 2018

Seeing you Through September

An Officer and a Gentleman

The world premiere of a brand new musical, based on the Oscar-winning film starring Richard Gere, An Officer and a Gentleman will be audio described at the Bradford Alhambra on Saturday, 8 September at 14:30.

Its feel-good soundtrack includes the hit song from the movie Up Where We Belong, along with many 80s classic anthems including Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Livin’ On A Prayer, Heart of Glass, Material Girl, Don’t Cry Out Loud, I Was Made for Lovin’ You, and The Final Countdown.

Zack Mayo is in training to become a US Navy Pilot. He rolls into boot camp with a bit too much of a swagger, and drill Sergeant Foley doesn’t make life easy for him. When he falls for local girl Paula Pokrifki, and tragedy befalls his friend and fellow candidate, Zack realises the importance of love and friendship, and finds the courage to be himself, and win the heart of the woman he loves. It’s only then he can truly become an Officer and a Gentleman.

With direction by Nikolai Foster (Artistic Director Curve, Annie, Calamity Jane), choreography by Kate Prince (Into The Hoods, ZooNation) and musical supervision by Tony Award-winning Sarah Travis (Sweeney Todd, Sister Act), this inspiring, breathtakingly romantic musical celebrates triumph over adversity and features one of the most iconic romantic scenes ever portrayed on screen. Let Love Lift You Up where you belong! Cast includes West End favourites Jonny Fines (Annie), Ray Shell (Starlight Express), and Olivier Award nominee Emma Williams (Half A Sixpence). Please be advised this show contains themes of an adult nature and strong language.

Bouncers

Bouncers is being audio described at the Royal Court Theatre Liverpool on Wednesday, 12 September at 20:00. After a massively successful sell-out run in the Studio, Boisterous Theatre Company are set to tear up the Court’s main stage in a revamped production of the John Godber award- winning classic about a team of Bouncers, now known as Door Supervisors.

With their compulsory security training badges stuck firmly on their sleeves, wired up with digital headsets linked back to ‘control’, our 21st century Door Supervisors face the nightly tension of what they’ve been trained to do – customer service - and what their common sense is telling them to do – sort it out quickly. With a cast who can move to the pulsating, up to the minute soundtrack and sing pitch perfect vocals to contemporary tunes, Bouncers thrusts us full on into a night out with all the fun and laughter, tears and tension of people trying to enjoy themselves as they go “out out” into the city hoping for fun, love or simply to lose themselves on their once a week, full on free for all. Ralph, Les, Judd and Lucky Eric see it all and hear it all. Tonight they are going to tell you all. Advisory 16+ some strong language.

Early Doors

On Tuesday, 18 September, The Lowry presents an audio described performance of EARLY DOORS, Britain’s best loved pub sitcom, at 19:30. Commissioned by leading West End producer Philip McIntyre, to adapt their award winning television series for the stage, Craig Cash and Phil Mealey have written a brand new story featuring the same hilarious characters. The Grapes Pub will reopen its doors for a limited season in a not-to-be-missed night of fun and laughter. Ken’s got love on his mind, but will barmaid, Tanya, ring the landlord’s bell? Old Tommy would play Cupid - if only he didn’t have IBS (Irritable Bugger’s Syndrome). Crime is on the rise but fear not, as local cops Phil and Nige are getting stuck in... to a couple of pints in the back room. After all, “Crime can’t crack itself.” All of this and much, much more!.

Craig Cash and Phil Mealey said: “Writing Early Doors again has been a joy and we’re really excited by the results. Putting it on stage for the first time ever will be a huge thrill. One that we hope you will come along and share.” Starring Craig Cash, Phil Mealey, John Henshaw, Joan Kempson, James Quinn, Lisa Millett, Judith Barker and more to be confirmed. To the regiment! Don’t just wish you were there - make sure of it!

NB TICKETS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE FOR THOSE USING THE AUDIO DESCRIPTION AND FOR THEIR ESSENTIAL COMPANIONS.

Theatre by the Lake has an audio described performance of Jeeves And Wooster on Thursday, 20 September at 14:00. “Man and boy, Jeeves, I have been in some tough spots in my time, but this one wins the mottled oyster.”

Join aristocratic man about town Bertie Wooster and his dutiful valet Jeeves, for a weekend away at a country house. When Wooster is called on to play matchmaker and inadvertently steals an antique silver cow-creamer (don’t ask), the ever dependable Jeeves is on hand to step in and save Bertie’s bacon. Three actors play a multitude of characters in this inventive and totally bonkers send-up of P.G. Wodehouse’s iconic double act, which won the 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

SHREK The Musical is being audio described at the Nottingham Theatre Royal on Saturday, 22 September at 14:30, and the week after on Wednesday, 26 September at 19:30, you can catch the audio described performance of Shakespeare’s Othello And Macbeth at HOME.

Othello MacBeth

At the New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Lip Service’s Withering Looks is being audio described at 14:30. This show takes an “authentic” look at the lives and works of the Brontë sisters – well, two of them actually, Anne’s just popped out for a cup of sugar. Peopled with many of the characters we know and love, Maggie and Sue move effortlessly from frock to frock coat. Withering Looks won a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award and the Critics’ award for Comedy at the Edinburgh Festival.

Lip Service fans might like to know that Withering Looks is also being described on October 19 at Oldham Coliseum and that on September 18th at Oldham Library and October 11 in Salford, their latest work-in-progress, Strangers on a Train Set will be described too. For more details of the Oldham event please visit www.oldham-council.co.uk/libevent/events

Generator

Generator, an audio described event is taking place on Friday, 28 September at 19:30 at the Tramshed, London. The new performance event features short scratch pieces from young artists, alongside a work-in-progress of George by resident company Contingency Theatre, and a headline set by Shirley & Shirley. All performances will be audio described / accessible for visually impaired audiences.

Sasha & Kitty, Dan de la Motte, Aidan Strudwick and Lucy Hayward will all share short pieces of work they are currently developing. There will be an opportunity to give your feedback to the artists.

Contingency Theatre present a work-in-progress of their new piece, George – currently being developed through a Progression residency at The Tramshed. The performance explores ambition, escapism and mental health, through physical theatre, clowning and a live soundtrack.

The evening features a guest performance by successful sketch duo, Shirley & Shirley, who have been performing their unique brand of comedy throughout the UK for a decade. From dive bars to 1,000-seater theatres, they have performed throughout the UK, including six Edinburgh Festivals, as well as in Los Angeles. ‘A riot of silliness, lovingly and confidently honed into a show that shouldn’t be missed.‘(Three Weeks)

If you are a young / emerging artist and would be interested in performing at the next Generator night (February 2019), then visit the website or join Progression - www.glypt.co.uk/progression

There are three audio described performances taking place on Saturday, 29 September, all showing at 14:30.

Benidorm Live

ITV's smash comedy, Benidorm Live, is on at the Regent Theatre Stoke. See your favourite stars from the Solana Hotel live on stage for a hilarious trip to Benidorm that you won’t want to miss!

Created with original Shakespeare text, Jeanie O’Hare retells the wars of the roses through the eyes of the extraordinary Margaret of Anjou in Queen Margaret, at the Royal Exchange. “This lady excelled all others, as well in beauty and favour, as in wit and policy, and was of stomach more like a man than a woman” (Holinshed Chronicles 1577)

Hungry for power and angered by their King, the men of Henry VI’s court plot and scheme against each other. As the King wavers and the factions split, Queen Margaret is determined to hold on to power and protect the crown that will one day belong to her son.

Elizabeth Freestone directs this captivating exploration of an iconic moment of British history, from the viewpoint of this dangerous and thrilling woman.

Awful Auntie Live On Stage

From the award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny comes the world premiere of David Walliams’ Awful Auntie, at the Wolverhampton Grand. When Stella sets off to visit London with her parents, Lord and Lady Saxby, she has no idea her life is in danger! Waking up three months later, only her Aunt Alberta can tell Stella what has happened. But not everything Alberta tells her turns out to be true and Stella quickly discovers she’s in for the fight of her life against her very own awful Auntie! It is an amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie!

With a month packed full of great productions, Mind’s Eye look forward to welcoming you a performance soon!

AN AUDIO DESCRIBED SUMMER..

The Summer season presents you with a wide array of audio described shows for you to choose from.

Bread and Roses

To start with, Bread and Roses will be audio described at the Oldham Coliseum on Wednesday, 4 July at 7:30. An exciting uplifting new play stuffed full of songs and laughs, heart and soul; telling the gripping real life story of the huge mill-workers strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA in 1912. 20,000 workers originating from all corners of the globe, led mainly by the female workforce who fought not just for the bread for their daily existence, but also for the roses in order to live a full life - a fight that resonates and continues to this day. Written by Ian Kershaw (award winning television and theatre writer, whose plays include Star-Cross’d for the Coliseum), Bread & Roses features a mix of real and imagined characters.

The story of Lucy-Rose Atkins as she navigates the strike, facing love, loss, lies and deceit, using her quick wit, impassioned heart and fierce intelligence to undertake a journey from unskilled worker to impassioned leader. The strike was also famously known as ‘The Singing Strike’ and Bread & Roses uses songs from the time of the strike – mainly from the influential songwriter Joe Hill (who inspired countless other rebel voices from Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez to Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg). These are the songs that rouse rabbles, shake houses and lift roofs as Lucy-Rose Atkins leads her workers in their fight of their lives - a fight, not just for bread, but for roses too!

A little night music

Described as “spine-tingling, a scintillating revival” (The Stage), Stephen Sondheim’s stunning tour de force of a musical, A Little Night Music, is being audio described at the Storyhouse Chester, on Sunday, 8 July at 2:15. Spouses, exes, mismatches and misunderstandings.

The story explores the tangled web of affairs around an actress and the men who love her. Anne is married to Fredrik, who still loves Desiree, who is sleeping with Count Carl-Magnus, who is married to Charlotte, who’s friends with Anne. It doesn’t stay that way – be prepared for a night of glorious musical comedy. Witty, heartbreakingly moving and full of adoration, regret and desire.

Mamma Mia! will be audio described at the Palace Theatre Manchester on Thursday, 12 July at 7:30 – the only chance to catch this show before it goes off on its international tour. Dig out your lycra and platforms and join the party!

An Officer and a gentleman

On Friday, 13 July, An Officer & A Gentleman is being audio described at 7:30 at the Milton Keynes Theatre. You can also catch it on 8 September at the Bradford Alhambra at 2:30. It’s the show that will sweep you off your feet! Queens of the Coal Age will be audio described on Saturday, 14 July at the Royal Exchange Manchester.

“WE ARE WOMEN AGAINST PIT CLOSURES AND WE’RE OCCUPYING THIS PIT”.

Anne, Elaine, Dot and Lesley. Four ordinary women, facing the closure of their community. It’s 1993 and the Parkside Colliery pit may be winding down, but they’re not giving up. Their bras stuffed with contraband, they take a tour of the pit and refuse to come up. Settling into the depths of the mine, making tissue roses and walking imaginary dogs, they face bribery and threats. But as they dig in, those up top start to realise these ladies are not for turning. This is the heart-warming and funny true story of four women taking a stand in the face of a changing world.

Young DaDa Fest

You can catch Young DaDaFest on Thursday, 19 July at 6:30 at the Everyman Theatre Liverpool, where the young people showcase their many skills.

On Wednesday, 25 July at 8:00, at Liverpool’s Royal Court, it’s Mamma Mia again, no sorry, that Mam I’m “Ere!.

The brilliantly funny smash hit disco musical will take The Court by storm. Sally was left on her Dad’s doorstep one cold and windy Liverpool night.. 25 years later and she has met the love of her life on her Dad’s failing Disco holiday campsite in Wales. There is just one person missing from her wedding plans – her Mam. After teasing out stories from her Dad's best mates she narrows her search down to three very different women from his past. Believing they’ve won a glamorous mini-break away, the three unsuspecting Mums find themselves walking into a creaky caravan park, greeted by an old flame some of them would rather forget, and right into her trap.

Starring some of Liverpool’s favourite theatre faces, Life In Theatre Productions and The Royal Court Theatre proudly present the return of the smash hit comedy. Packed with hit after hit from the 1970s (but definitely no Abba) this show will have you dancing in the aisles. So Get Down and Celebrate Good Times in this Disco Boogie Wonderland!

titanic

On Saturday, 28 July, our big green ogre, Shrek pop up at the Milton Keynes Theatre, and also on that date is the first Mind’s Eye Audio Description of Titanic the Musical at the Bradford Alhambra. Both are at 2:30, and if you miss Shrek this time, you can catch it again at Venue Cymru at 7:00.

what the ladybird heard

Join the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog in the glittering stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks' What the Ladybird Heard, audio described at 2:00 at the Lowry on Thursday, 16 August. Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer's fine prize cow. But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all: The Ladybird has a plan of her own! With live music, puppetry, plenty of audience participation and lots of laughs,, come and take part in this colourful farmyard adventure! Those too little for audio description will love the touch tour!

Ending the month is the fantastic musical Miss Saigon, being audio described on Wednesday, 29 August at 2:30 in Norwich.

calendar girls

Kicking off September, on Saturday 1st, are three terrific musicals all audio described at 2:30. You can choose between Calendar Girls at the Leeds Grand, Fame at the Bradford Alhambra, or Jersey Boys at the Wolverhampton Grand. Also being audio described on this date, is Alan Bennett’s Olivier Award winning comedy masterpiece, Single Spies, at the Theatre by the Lake at 2:00.

single spies

The play uncovers the true stories behind two notorious spies. Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt were members of the infamous Cambridge Spies. This compelling double bill, set in both Moscow and London, chronicles their extraordinary lives: secret identities, police interrogations, and encounters with the Queen. In An Englishman Abroad, double agent Guy Burgess has defected to the Soviets and is living in Moscow. But when he’s visited by the actress Coral Browne, Burgess entrusts her with a top secret mission of her own.. As A Question of Attribution shows, there was nobody Sir Anthony Blunt didn’t know. As Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, he was on friendly terms with Her Majesty. But with an art forgery on his hands and a policeman in his office, Blunt’s latest trip to Buckingham Palace is looking awkward… These witty comedies are as fascinating as they are funny.

So, with many fantastic performances going on, Mind’s Eye looks forward to welcoming you to one (or more) of them soon!

June News

Highlight of the touring shows this month, is Miss Saigon, which is at Bristol Hippodrome on 5 June. This spectacular epic love story never fails to impress!

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Other touring shows featuring great characters and music, include Legally Blonde, which is audio described at Liverpool Empire on 6 June, and at Manchester Palace on 28 June; Jersey Boys, - the story of Frankie Vallli and The Four Seasons, at Norwich Theatre Royal on 7 June; the lively, ever-popular, Thoroughly Modern Millie at Bradford Alhambra on 9 June and at Wolverhampton Grand on 29 June; and The Band – the story of the girl fans and the boy band, at Nottingham Theatre Royal on 13 June.

And the fun doesn’t stop there! The irrepressible Tracy Turnblad is in Hairspray at the Regent Theatre, Stoke, on 16 June and on the same day the songs of Dusty Sringfield feature in Son Of A Preacherman at Bradford Alhambra; meanwhile the big green ogre Shrek, is in Liverpool on 21 June, and you join Elphaba the Green Witch, as she defies gravity in Wicked at Leeds Grand on 27 June.

Happy Days

Our North West Theatres are offering: Shelagh Delaney’s bitter-sweet A Taste Of Honey at Oldham Coliseum on 7 June; Les Dennis and Michael Starkie star in The Miracle of Great Homer Street at The Royal Court on 14 June; Maxine Peake stars in Beckett’s Happy Days at the Royal Exchange on 16 June; Summer Holiday, including a bus ride is audio described at the Octagon Theatre on 20 June; The Big I Am is a new adaptation of Peer Gynt, on at the Everyman on 26 June, and at Storyhouse, Chester, we feature Arthur Miller’s classic, The Crucible on 22 June and a Little Night Music on 8 July.

Dates for Kinky Boots are being added to the schedule all the time so keep checking for details, and also please book early for Mamma Mia! In Manchester on 12 July.

Chantal Joffe

The Chantal Joffe exhibition at The Lowry is being audio described on 17 June at 10.30am. The Lowry tells us: Chantal Joffe's fearless paintings confront the physicality of the human body and the complexities of human emotions in a remarkable combination of detachment, humour and intimacy.

We look forward to welcoming you soon to a show or an exhibition.

May We Present

Kicking off this month is The Big Corner at The Octagon Theatre, audio described on Wednesday, 2 May at 7:30. Bill and Alf, two young Bolton lads hungry for adventure, discover the mystery and the delights of girls as they grow up together. Every night they meet at the “Big Corner” at the end of the road to tell (and exaggerate) the stories of their days.. A kaleidoscope of Bolton life, The Big Corner is a story of hope, young friendship, love and heartache

The all popular musical Hairspray is on at Venue Cymru on Thursday, 3 May, audio described at 7:30 and at the same time on Friday, 4 May, you can catch the audio described performance of The Tiger Lillies: Corrido de la Sangre, at Home, Manchester.

Corrido de la Sangre

The Day of the Dead… A Corrido singer and his band return from the realm of the dead to haunt their killer and tell us their dark story of intrigue, vengeance, murder and the mayhem of a romance gone bad. This new, full-length show blends stunning visuals with original music from the Grammy-nominated godfathers of alternative cabaret,- The Tiger Lillies. Set in a small dusty town in the lands between Mexico and the US, the singer relays the tale of his rise and fall and the songs of life at the border, where mythical creatures from Aztec times still haunt the night. This is a realm where folklore and real life merge, where you can meet a knight, an evil king, a damsel in distress and the Saint of the Sinners. Anything is possible. Just don’t believe everything you hear…

On the 8th May there is a chance to visit The Portico Library in Manchester, for an audio described tour of their latest exhibition – In So Many Words: Roget’s Thesaurs and the Power of Language. There will be a performance by two of the artists with audio description. For details and free tickets (for blind and visually impaired people), please telephone 0161 236 6785.

At 7:30 on Thursday, 10 May, there is an audio described performance of A Clockwork Orange at the Everyman theatre in Liverpool, described by Michael Hurst. Between good and evil, is there a choice? Alex loves milk. Alex loves Beethoven. But Alex loves violence too. Something must be done about Alex, everyone agrees. Only… is punishment the answer? Or could there be another way? In his notorious novel of teen culture gone bad, Anthony Burgess unleashed amoral Alex on the world. And in this, his own stage adaptation, the story comes dangerously to life, slicing open society with a steely poetic edge and taking a good hard look deep inside. Shot through with music and studded with Burgess’ own songs, this is a thrilling, scalpel-sharp tale about transgression, free will and the power of old Ludwig Van.

The Cherry Orchard

On Saturday, 12 May, The Cherry Orchard is being audio described at the Royal Exchange Theatre at 2:30. Directed by Michael Boyd, former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Chekhov’s final masterpiece is full of wild humour and piercing sadness. The tide of change is coming. Madam Ranyevskaya's world of privilege and pleasure is beginning to show cracks, but she and her family live on in denial. Lopakhin wants to rescue Ranyevskaya. The hard-working son of one of her family’s serfs, his new-found wealth can offer shelter and security to the woman he has loved since boyhood, but it will come at a high price. Kirsty Bushell (King Lear, Chichester Festival Theatre; Antigone, Barbican) and Jude Owusu (A Tale of Two Cities, Regent’s Park; Julius Caesar, RSC) lead the ensemble in this fresh, funny and honest translation by award-winning playwright Rory Mullarkey (Cannibals Royal Exchange Theatre, Saint George and the Dragon, National Theatre).

Jersey Boys is being audio described at the Royal Centre, Nottingham on Thursday, 17 May at 7:30, at Bradford Alhambra at 2.00 on 30 May and at Norwich Theatre Royal on 7 June at 2.30pm. Oh What A Night!!

Lightnight Liverpool this year, is on Friday, 18 May from 5:00. Come along to experience places, spaces and people celebrate Liverpool's world-class culture, with one spectacular night of over 100 free performances, exhibitions, installations, workshops, talks and much more.

Fat Friends

Fat Friends the Musical will be audio described at the Bradford Alhambra on Saturday, 19 May at 2:30 by Eleanor Walk. The hit TV show Fat Friends from award-winning national treasure Kay Mellor (creator of Girlfriends, Love, Lies & Records, Band of Gold, The Syndicate and In The Club) bursts onto the stage in a brand new musical, with original music by Nick Lloyd Webber. Join the infamous group of TV's most loveable characters as they are put through their Zumba paces at their local branch of Super Slimmers by the lovelorn Lauren whilst Kelly fantasises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams. Packed full of hope, humour, love and weight loss, this new stage show reunites our favourite foodie friends and sell-out audiences, are loving it! With an All-Star cast including West End favourite and winner of the BBC’s I’d Do Anything, Jodie Prenger, X Factor winner Sam Bailey, Atomic Kitten’s pop sensation Natasha Hamilton, star of Emmerdale and Wicked, Natalie Anderson, Coronation Street legend Kevin Kennedy and, making his stage debut, Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, Fat Friends The Musical is a feel-good night out for everybody and is a HUGE hit!

The sensational musical Blood Brothers will be audio described on Tuesday, 22 May at the Palace Theatre Manchester at 7:30. This is always a hot ticket, so book early!

Long Day's Journey Into Night

On Wednesday, 23 May at 7:00, you can catch the audio described performance of Long Day’s Journey into Night, at Home Manchester. Citizens Theatre, Glasgow and HOME present a new co-production of one of the greatest American dramas of the twentieth century. The four members of the troubled Tyrone family each have their vice to dull their memories of their painful past and face their current trials. Over the course of one devastating day at their Connecticut summer home the resentments of the family are exposed, pushing their bonds to the limit. Eugene O’Neill’s moving and insightful Pulitzer Prize-winning play delves into the private lives and failings of the conflicted family while revealing insights into his own upbringing.

Shakespeare’s Othello will be audio described at the Everyman Liverpool on Thursday, 24 May at 7:30. Who do you trust? How hard can a heart be? How jealous can a soul be? How far can evil go before love is destroyed? Othello is a distinguished military leader. She commands respect. But not everyone is ready for a leader quite like this one. This fearsome study of the caustic power of envy places the classic text in a future not too far from now. Clouded by suspicion, tainted by spite, it reaches for the dark core of human hatred and bigotry – a place where love and honour may be hard won, but holding onto them is the hardest task of all.

And looking ahead to the first week in June – you can catch starting off the next month on Beautiful, THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, at the Leeds Grand Theatre at 2:30.Saturday, 2 June, Miss Saigon at Bristol Hippodrome on 5 June at 7.30pm, Legally Blonde at Liverpool Empire on 6 June at 7.30, A Taste of Honey at Oldham Coliseum on 7 June at 7.30 and Thoroughly Modern Millie at Bradford Alhambra on 9 June at 2.30.

We look forward to welcoming you to a show soon!

Remember to keep up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Prestigious Award!

I was thrilled recently to become the recipient of the 2017 Special Achievement Award from the Manchester Theatre Awards panel! This award is given by the judges, for outstanding contribution to theatre, and celebrated 30 years of my work in audio description and access, and the recent 25 year anniversary of Mind’s Eye. It is such an honour to receive it, and it’s especially impressive that Access has been recognised in a main-stream awards ceremony! Thank you to all the MTA judges, to all the theatre staff and actors who work with me, to my team of describers, and especially for all the audiences who come to the shows!

Mind's Eye Award 2018

The photograph shows me standing on a red carpet at The Lowry, holding the award, which is made from glass, - it’s octagonal in shape, on a small base, and etched with the MTA logo, Special Achievement Award, 2017. It’s 20cm in diameter and feels quite weighty! In the photograph I am wearing a ruby red velvet top with black velvet trousers and silver jewellery, and needless to say, I am smiling!

April's Shower of Shows.

With a wide range of audio described performances raining down upon us, there is something for everyone.

On Tuesday, 3 April at 7:30, you can catch the audio described performance of Whisky Galore at the Oldham Coliseum. Reviewed as "An impressive and enjoyable show and a perfect vehicle to introduce someone who might not be a theatre-goer to just what can be achieved on stage" (Manchester Salon) and "A light-hearted and jovial night of entertainment that is guaranteed to fire the imagination" (The GM Reviewer), this new adaptation of the much-loved film brings to life what happens when a cargo of whisky is washed up on a very dry Scottish island!

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical is showing at the Bristol Hippodrome Theatre on Wednesday, 4 April with the audio described performance at 7:30. Packed with dozens of memorable numbers, this show is proving a favourite with audiences around the country.

East is East is at the Octagon Theatre on Thursday, 4 April at 7:30. Ayub Khan Din’s comedy about clashing cultures and family drama has won multiple awards, become a BAFTA winning film and is now being brought to life back in Bolton in a very popular new production.

Flying Lovers

On the afternoon of Saturday, 7 April there are three great performances for you to pick from. At 2:00 you can catch the audio described performance of The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk at the Home Theatre. Perhaps they’ve been seen floating over a Russian village? The woman toppling forward, arms full of wild flowers, as the man arches above her head and steals a kiss.

Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella are immortalised as the picture of romance. But whilst on canvas they flew, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history. Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk traces this young couple as they navigate the Pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. Emma Rice’s production is drawn in a theatrical language as fluid as Chagall’s paintings, and woven throughout with music and dance inspired by Russian Jewish tradition. Pat Hayes will be audio describing this piece at HOME.

The Lowry Theatre presents you with the audio described performance of Birdsong at 2:30. Marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Birdsong is the critically acclaimed stage show based on the world famous novel by Sebastian Faulks. In pre-war France, a young Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns their world upside down.

As the war breaks out over the idyll of his former life, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground. Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle as his world explodes around him. A mesmerising story of love and courage set both before and during the Great War. This compelling production of Birdsong has been seen by over 200,000 people, and now it is your chance to experience this stunning piece of theatre live on stage. The audio description will be given by Chris Berry.

At the same time of 2:30 on the 7th, the audio described performance of Flashdance is audio described at the Alhambra Theatre Bradford. Get your 80s gear on and get those feet flashing!

Hairspray

At 7:30 on Tuesday, 10 April at The Dukes Theatre Lancaster, there is an audio described performance of Educating Rita. Hairdresser Rita has a thirst for knowledge her husband can’t understand. Eager to escape the trivial conversations at work, she enrols on an Open University course. And that’s when she meets Frank. Frustrated poet, tutor and borderline alcoholic Frank has never met anyone like brash Liverpudlian Rita. Taking her under his wing, he attempts to guide her on a journey of self-discovery and learning. Driven to succeed, witty Rita challenges the stereotypes of the class and education system, confounding everyone’s expectations – including her own. This classic comedy is funny, feisty and ultimately moving. What does it take to change your life – and what might be the cost?

Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon is being audio described at the Palace Theatre Manchester on Thursday, 12 April at 7:30. In the last days of the Vietnam War, 17 year-old Kim is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For 3 years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris. You don’t want to miss this 'Mind-blowingly brilliant' (Magic FM) musical and 'A real big beast of a blockbuster' (Time Out).

The smash hit musical comedy Hairspray is coming to the Milton Keynes Theatre with a production guaranteed to have you dancing the night away! The audio described performance of this is taking place on Friday, 13 April at 7:30.

Crazy

Crazy for You is at the Alhambra on Saturday, 14 April with the audio described performance at 2:30.

And the ever popular musical Blood Brothers is audio described at 2:30pm on Saturday, 21 April.

There are two audio described performances on Wednesday, 25 April. Shakespeare’s King Lear will be audio described at 7:30 at Wolverhampton Arena by Susan Howell, whilst at 8:00 you can catch the audio described performance of Liver Birds Flying Home at the Royal Court Liverpool.

Beryl and Sandra were the Liver Birds, the embodiment of 1970s swinging Liverpool. Red and blue, north and south, posh and streetwise, the world was theirs for the taking. But one stayed… and the other left. Forty years after they tore up the city, the Liver Birds are reunited as if nothing has changed, but everything has. Can things be like they used to be - or are their lives like a bag of broken biscuits? This brand new musical rivals anything that the city has produced in the past, taking a look at Carla Lane’s perfect pair and how they have lived, loved and grown up. Liver Birds Flying Home will make you laugh, cry and laugh again as you hum along to Mike Lindup and Barb Jungr’s haunting melodies. Liver Birds may fly high but they always fly home.

Ending the month are two audio described performances on Saturday, 28 April both at 2:30. In Bradford, you can catch Evita, whilst at the Oldham Coliseum Chris Berry will audio describe Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking.

Mind’s Eye describers look forward to welcoming you to a show soon!

Marching into Spring..

Hamlet kicks off this month with the audio described performance at the Octagon Theatre Bolton, on Monday, 5 March at 7:30. Hamlet returns from his life studying abroad to find his home utterly changed and his place in the world uncertain. His father dead and his mother remarried to his uncle, who is now King. Torn apart with grief and suspicion, Hamlet must decide on what to do. Should he act upon what he suspects and take revenge or accept the way things are? As we find ourselves in an increasingly uncertain world, Shakespeare’s great tragedy resonates as never before in this startling new production.

council depot blues

Next you can catch the audio described performance of Council Depot Blues at the Royal Court Liverpool, on Wednesday, 7 March at 8:00. Dave Kirby (Lost Soul, Brick up the Mersey Tunnels, Reds & Blues, Dreaming of a Barry White Christmas, Brick Up 2 The Wrath of Ann Twacky) is back with his smash hit comedy. It’s Stan’s last day on the job and look what he’s leaving behind. Clearing houses after the dearly departed have buggered off beyond the grave leaving nothing behind but busted sofas, faded photos and worthless heirlooms. It’s enough to give anyone the blues. What he will miss are the lads who he works with in the Liverpool City Council Excrement Eradication Department. A bunch of social misfits without two airs and graces to rub together, they might wind each other up but they are a team. Stick together through thick and thin. They’d never desert each other or rip each other off. Not even if one of them found something really valuable… Packed with gut laughs and set to a stone-cold blues soundtrack Jake Abraham, Roy Brandon, Paul Broughton, Lindzi Germain, Howard Gray, Phil Hearne, James Nelson Joyce and Andrew Schofield star in this uproarious comedy.

half light

On Monday, 12 March at 7:00, an audio described performance of Half Light takes place at the Civic Theatre Tallaght, Ireland. Imagine this: you’re walking up a mountain, through a forest of pine trees, and you’re trying to find your Dad. He’s been taken by a monster. Meet Robin, a ten-year-old boy travelling through the magical woodland of his father’s storybook. A tale which is as true as it is untrue. Half dark and half light.

The gravity-defying Wizard of Oz prequel, Wicked, the recipient of over 100 major international awards, will be audio described at the Liverpool Empire on Wednesday, 14 March, at 7:30. Book early for this spectacular show!

There is an audio described performance of Circle Mirror Transformation at 7:30 on Friday, 16 March at HOME Manchester. In a small town in Vermont, New England, five unlikely strangers come together in their community centre for a creative drama class for adults. The free-spirited Marty, recently divorced Schulz, former actress Teresa, the self-conscious high school student Lauren, and Marty’s quiet husband, James. Over six weeks of drama exercises and games ranging from the hilarious to the heartbreaking, their lives become entangled and transformed in the most humorous and moving ways. Award winning director Bijan Sheibani brings the Northern Premiere of Annie Baker’s fantastic show to HOME’s stage, starring Amelia Bullmore (Scott & Bailey, Twenty Twelve, The Crucible) as Marty, Sian Clifford (Fleabag, Gloria) as Theresa, Anthony Ofoegbu (Spooks, Moonfleet, Casualty) as James, Con O’Neill (Frank, Cucumber, Ordinary Lives, Harlots, A View From the Bridge, Happy Valley) as Schultz, and Yasmin Paige (Submarine, Pramface, Ah Wilderness) as Lauren. Annie Baker is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for drama and is considered one of the most talented playwrights to have emerged in recent years. Her quiet masterpiece Circle Mirror Transformation won the 2010 Obie Award for Best New Play, and was voted one of the top 10 plays of 2009 by the New York Times, Time Out, and The New Yorker.

chip shop ships

An audio described performance of Chip Shop Chips is taking place in St Helen’s on Saturday, 17 March at 2:00. “She's not going anywhere yet. Even if it's just for tonight - he won't unwish it. They can have now. And then years after, they'll still get a shiver from the memories.” It’s the grand reopening of Booth and Son’s Fish & Chip Shop. Eric has returned home, over forty years after he left, and it’s time for a fresh start. But old flame Christine has other ideas. Transported back to a time of chippy teas and Northern Soul, there’s unfinished business for these old lovers. Watching teenage love stumble as hapless Lee makes a pass at the beautiful Jasmine, is it all just history repeating? Focusing on love at different ages and celebrating the nation’s favourite food, Chip Shop Chips heads nationwide following a completely sold-out Northern Tour in Spring 2016. Performing in unusual spaces across the country, brace yourself for an immersive love story set to a soundtrack of Northern Soul and served with a fish and chip supper. This is theatre, but not as you know it: dinner, quiz and a show all rolled into one! Chip Shop Chips is a fabulous show for everyone – those who are new to theatre and those seasoned theatre goers. It’s a joyous trip down memory lane, celebrating love through the ages and the nations favourite food.

At 2:30 on the same day, The smash hit Broadway and West End Musical Legally Blonde is audio described at the Regent Theatre Stoke. Starring Rita Simons (best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in BBC’s Eastenders) as Paulette Bonafonte, Lucie Jones (who represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Never Give Up On You' and recently starred as Maureen in the 20th Anniversary tour of Rent, and was a finalist in the 2009 series of The X Factor) as Elle Woods and Bill Ward (best known for his work on two of the country’s leading soaps, Emmerdale and Coronation Street but Bill is no stranger to the stage and has performed in Spamalot and The Tempest) as Professor Callahan. This all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is a fun-filled, feel-good pink fest, so bend and snap up your tickets today!

The Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester brings you the audio described performance of This is not a Safe Space at 7:30 on Friday, 23 March. Jackie Hagan reveals the real voices of proper skint disabled people in her new solo show that aims to get people to sit up, listen and care without keeling over with empathyfatigue or boredom of statistics. Expect audience interaction, DIY puppetry, poetic comedy with comedic poetry, and one underclass amputee steering the show. If you miss it, you can catch this performance again the following day at the same time and same place. It will also be audio described at Huddersfield on Friday, 30 March at 7:30.

In Liverpool on Thursday, 29 March at the Everyman Theatre, Paint your Wagon will be audio described at 7:30. Is there a better place beyond the horizon? America is restless. The land is giving up its bounty. And in California, the glint of gold sets pulses racing. As a nation goes in search of riches, Ben Rumson stakes his claim. A dusty scrap of wilderness becomes a heaving Gold Rush outpost – a town with 400 men and just one woman, where no one knows how long the boom times can last. Following last year’s unforgettable Fiddler on the Roof, the same creative team invites you to join the Everyman Company for a sensational foot-tapping hoedown. With songs including Wand'rin’ Star and I Talk to the Trees, it’s a star-spangled celebration of love in a world that doesn’t know where it’s heading, and a party with you at its heart.

Frankenstein

To end this month’s audio described performances, Frankenstein will be audio described at the Royal Exchange Theatre on Saturday, 31 March at 2:30. This gripping adaptation by celebrated playwright April de Angelis marks 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s famous gothic horror novel. "what can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?” Trapped in a mountain of ice, Captain Walton’s ambition to conquer the North Pole stalls in its tracks. Out on the frozen wastes something stirs… Wretched and barely alive, Victor Frankenstein is dragged on board. In his fever he recounts a tale of a young scientist, a man with soaring ambition, a tall tale of monstrous creation. In the horror of the story the ice breaks and the ship creaks to life, but is there one last chapter in this bloody account? Directed by Associate Artistic Director Matthew Xia (Wish List, Into The Woods), with Shane Zaza (Happy Valley, Road, at London’s Royal Court) playing Victor Frankenstein.

We look forward to welcoming you to a performance soon!

February Fun!

The world of theatre continues to present you with a whole host of popular musicals and brilliant shows for you to choose from.

Charlotte Brontte's well-known Jane Eyre will be under way at The Octagon Theatre on Thursday, 8th February at 7:30. Penniless and alone, Jane emerges from a bleak childhood to make her way in life as a governess. At Thornfield Hall she falls in love with her mysterious employer Mr Rochester, however he is hiding a terrible secret that could ruin everything. Jane's indomitable spirit, sharp wit and great courage drive her to fight for her independence and to follow her heart whatever the obstacles. This new stage adaption is a passionate and dramatic retelling of Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece.

jersey boys stage show

Three terrific musicals take place on Saturday, 10th February, with all the audio described performances at 2:30. The internationally acclaimed stage sensation, Jersey Boys, is on at The Stoke Regent Theatre. This smash hit musical has won 57 major awards worldwide, including the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Jersey Boys tells the true life story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, invented their own unique sound, and sold 100 million records worldwide. Featuring hit after legendary hit including Beggin', December 1963 (Oh What A Night), Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby, Big Girls Don't Cry and many more. Jersey Boys is a story full of heart, humour and 'sheer musical razzmatazz you simply will never forget.

Meanwhile, The Wolverhampton Grand showcases the ultimate feel-good party that is Mamma Mia!, the world's sunniest and most exhilarating smash-hit musical! Set on a Greek island paradise, a story of love, friendship and identity is cleverly told through the timeless songs of ABBA. Sophie's quest to discover the father she's never known brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they'll never forget. This irresistibly funny show has been thrilling audiences all around the world and now the party comes to Wolverhampton for the first time, so there's never been a better time to experience this unforgettable musical at The Grand Theatre. Whatever age you are, you can't help but have the time of your life at Mamma Mia!

sunset boulevard

At the same time, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award'-winning masterpiece Sunset Boulevard plays at The Alhambra Theatre Bradford. It stars Ria Jones, who received standing ovations every night when performing the role at the London Coliseum, as Norma Desmond and Strictly Come Dancing's Danny Mac as Joe Gillis. One of the all-time great musicals, Sunset Boulevard is a compelling story of romance and obsession, based on Billy Wilder's legendary film, with Don Black and Christopher Hampton's wonderful book and lyrics. In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma's 'masterpiece', a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free, with dramatic consequences.

With its much-loved score (including Sunset Boulevard. With One Look, As If We Never Said Goodbye, The Greatest Star Of All and The Perfect Year) performed with full orchestra, this majestic, mesmerising and teasingly seductive production promises to be a spectacular event.

Flashdance will be audio described at The Palace Theatre Manchester on Wednesday, 14th February at 7:30. Starring Strictly Come Dancing champion Joanne Clifton and A1's Ben Adams, Flashdance the Musical, is the inspiring and unforgettable story of Alex, a determined welder who dreams of becoming a professional dancer. When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream of attending Shipley Dance Academy. Why not prepare to be blown away with your Valentine, 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 with your loved one like you've never danced before!

Following a record-breaking UK and Ireland Tour, the smash hit blockbuster Shrek is back – and larger than life! It will be audio described at The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, on Saturday, 17 February at 2:30. Based on the story and characters from the Oscar'-winning DreamWorks Animation film, this hilarious and spectacular production turns the world of fairy-tales upside down, in an all-singing, all-dancing, must-see musical comedy. Sit back and enjoy the irresistible mix of adventure, laughter and romance, guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages!

sophie evans in wicked

Moving into the following week, Wicked will be audio described at The Bristol Hippodrome on Wednesday, 21 February at 7:30. 'This gravity-defying Wizard of Oz prequel is the recipient of over 100 major international awards, including 10 theatregoer-voted WhatsOnStage Awards (winning 'Best West End Show' on three occasions) and two Olivier Audience Awards in the UK. A huge, bright, colourful production that's full of wonder and joy, this unforgettable musical transports audiences to a stunningly re-imagined world of Oz, providing marvels beyond your imagination!

There are two audio described performances taking place on Thursday, 22 February, both at 7:30. You can catch Beautiful - The Carole King Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre, which tells the inspiring true story of King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit song-writing team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

Or you can watch Kitchen Sink at The Oldham Coliseum, which is set in Withernsea, East Yorkshire. One family. One year. Martin is a milkman whose milk float is falling apart as fast as he's losing customers. His son, Billy, is relying on a revealing painting of Dolly Parton to get him into Art College in London and daughter, Sophie, is fighting for a career in Ju-Jitsu while being pursued by a plumber in a pink van. Working two jobs and experimenting in the kitchen keeps mum, Kath, busy - but serving sushi for Christmas dinner is never going to end well. And there's something wrong with the kitchen sink' An irresistibly funny and touching play, The Kitchen Sink is a modern family story about big dreams, small towns and looking after each other.

Brief Encounter is audio described at The Lowry on Friday, 23 February at 7:30. 'I'm a happily married woman. Or rather I was until a few weeks ago. This is my whole world and it's enough, or rather it was until a few weeks ago.' Your heart dances. The world seems strange and new. You want to laugh and skip and fall forever'. You are in love. You are in love with the wrong person. 'That's how it all began. Just by me getting a little piece of grit in my eye.' Noel Coward's 'Brief Encounter' is remembered as one of the most haunting love stories ever. The award winning Kneehigh Theatre is one of the most loved and admired theatre companies in the country. Emma Rice - presides over the marriage of these two as director and adaptor. With the characteristic, wit and musicality of Kneehigh, the joy and heartache of this timeless story will be brought to the stage - the company that has put the soul back into storytelling in the theatre.

To finish off audio described theatre for this month, three shows are taking place on Saturday, 24 February, all at 2:30. Bursting with growing grannies, feathery farm animals and bags of frothbuggling family fun, Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine is on at The Lowry, whilst at The Liverpool Empire you can catch Sunset Boulevard if you missed it before.

Over at The Royal Exchange Theatre, you can catch The Almighty Sometimes, which was a winner of a Judges Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. 'i've got a gym membership now. I'm reading the backs of cereal boxes. and then I started thinking how strange it was to know the calorie intake of a bowl of cereal, but not the contents of my own medication.' Anna is coming of age. Possibilities are unfurling in front of her and she's ready to take control. But her mother's been standing guard all these years, taking care, editing the choices. When Anna makes a decision that could affect the rest of her life, can Renee stand by and watch? From writer Kendall Feaver comes a family story full of heart and humour, of a young woman trying to take control and a mother compelled to protect her.

Our colleagues at London's Young Vic have asked us to mention that they have several forthcoming productions with audio description. In particular the play WINTER, which has audio description at every performance. This runs from 14 – 24 Feburary. An ordinary businessman meets a volatile stranger in a park. So begins a fugue of splintered desires and mistaken meanings. An everyday encounter unspools with enduring consequences. Genesis Award winner John R. Wilkinson directs this riveting and hypnotic play. For more information please contact: 020 79222922

We look forward to welcoming you to a production soon!