Manchester Mind's Eye News 2019 | Anne Hornsby – Mind’s Eye Description Services, UK
  • Anne Hornsby | Mind's Eye
  • Anne Hornsby | Mind's Eye
  • Anne Hornsby | Mind's Eye
  • Anne Hornsby | Mind's Eye

Mind's Eye News 2019

Springtime for Theatre and Audio Description!

Kinky Boots

With songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots takes you from the factory floor to the glamorous catwalks of Milan at the Liverpool Empire on Wednesday, 3 April, audio described at 19:30. Kayi Ushe will be putting on the boots to play Lola following his award winning, critically acclaimed performances in Australia. He is joined by Paula Lane as Lauren, best known for her role as Kylie Platt in Coronation Street and West End star Joel Harper-Jackson will play Charlie Price. If you miss it, you can catch it again being audio described by Anne Hornsby at the Leeds Grand on Wednesday, 17 April at 19:30 or at Nottingham Theatre Royal on Thursday 6 June at 19.30.

Full of passion and romance, heart-pounding music and sensational sexy dancing, the record-breaking production of Dirty Dancing will be audio described by Anne Hornsby at the Wolverhampton Grand on Saturday, 6 April at 14:30. The classic story of Baby and Johnny returns, following three blockbuster West End runs and three hit UK tours, featuring the much-loved songs Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and the heart - stopping (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.


There are three audio described performances taking place on Saturday, 13 April. You can catch Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Milton Keynes Theatre at 14:00 described by Jonathan Nash; the sensational hit West End musical Motown at the Alhambra Theatre Bradford at 14:30 (and in Nottingham on Saturday, 27 April at 14:30) described by Anne Hornsby, or The Lady Vanishes at the Regent Theatre Stoke at 14:30 described by Chris Berry.

Motown the Musical

When Socialite Iris’ unexpected travelling companion suddenly disappears, Iris is perplexed to find that all the other passengers deny ever having seen her. But with the help of musician Max, she turns detective, and together they try to solve the mystery of why the lady vanished… Building on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, The Classic Thriller Theatre Company presents a quick-witted and devilishly fun thriller, based on the 1939 Hitchcock classic, ranked as one of the best British films of all time. The cast features Lorna Fitzgerald, fresh from her shock departure from the role of Abi Branning in BBC’s EastEnders, Matt Barber, Atticus Aldridge in Downtown Abbey and Robert Duncan, Drop The Dead Donkey.

Based on the 1980 phenomenal pop culture film, Fame The Musical, the international smash hit sensation, will be audio described by Pat Hayes on Saturday, 20 April at the Regent Theatre Stoke at 14:30. It follows the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life. Starring Keith Jack (Any Dream Will Do, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat), Mica Paris (Love Me Tender, Chicago, Mama I Want to Sing) and Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks, Dancing on Ice).


The smash-hit production of Annie comes to Bradford for one week only direct from London’s West End and is being audio described on Wednesday, 24 April at 14:00 by Anne Hornsby. This ‘glorious revival’ (The Times) stars award-winning actress Anita Dobson (Eastenders, Wicked, Loose Women, Chicago, Call The Midwife) as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan! With its Tony® award-winning book and score, including the unforgettable songs It’s The Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You and Tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll love it!


Inspired by a true story, Peter Shaffer’s gripping psychological thriller, Equus, is being audio described by Chris Berry on Saturday, 27 April at 13:30 at The Lowry. It explores the complex relationships between devotion, myth and sexuality. When teenager Alan Strang’s pathological fascination leads him to blind six horses in a Hampshire stable, psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart is tasked with uncovering the motive behind the boy’s violent act. As Dysart delves into Alan’s world of twisted spirituality, passion and sexuality, he begins to question his own sanity and motivations in a world driven by consumerism. “Haunting, engrossing theatre… a must-see” WhatsOnStage

Tender, acute and wryly funny, Visitors is being audio described by Anne at the Oldham Coliseum on Wednesday, 1 May at 19:30. In a rural farmhouse, a family is falling apart. Stephen can’t afford to put his mother into care; Arthur can’t afford to stop working and look after his wife. When a young stranger with blue hair moves in to care for Edie as her mind unravels, the entire family are forced to question what the future holds and who gets to choose how they live their lives. This is a story about ageing, care and families, but most of all an ode to life-long love.

At HOME Manchester on Friday, 3 May at 19:30, there is an audio described performance by Anne of Richard III. “What do I fear? Myself?” After decades of civil war, the nation hangs in the balance. Enter Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to change the course of history. Richard was not born to be a king, but he’s set his sights on the crown. So begins his campaign of deceit, manipulation and violence – and he’s killing it. Yet, behind his ambition lies a murderous desire to be loved.

Ghost The Musical comes to Bradford and is being audio described by Anne at the Alhambra on Saturday, 4 May at 14:30. The movie has proven to be one of cinema’s biggest all-time hits. Starring the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg it was the highest grossing film of 1990 and won an Oscar for screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin who has adapted his screenplay for this musical. The movie and the musical feature The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody alongside many more terrific songs co-written by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart. ‘a roaring success. The house was brought down with thunderous applause’ The Gazette

We look forward to seeing you at a show soon!

March News

Our March programme of audio described shows begins on 1st March at 7.30pm at HOME, Manchester. Wise Children is a new adaptation of Angela Carter’s great last novel, a big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak and a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. Show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies by the thousand. Emma Rice (Romantics Anonymous; Tristan & Yseult) brings her unique, exuberantly impish vision, launching her new theatre company of the same name. “A life-enhancing, brilliantly uninhibited, all-singing and dancing adaptation… Joyous”The Observer

The acclaimed tour of Kinky Boots marches on, reaching Bristol on 6th March at 7.30pm. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the shoe factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola - a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. With songs by Grammy and Tony winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots takes you from the factory floor to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Kayi Ushe will be putting on the boots to play Lola following his award winning, critically acclaimed performances in Australia. He is joined by Paula Lane as Lauren, best known for her role as Kylie Platt in Coronation Street and West End star Joel Harper-Jackson will play Charlie Price.

The Bodyguard

The re-launched tour of The Bodyguard is at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool on 7th March at 5pm, still starring the excellent Alexandra Burke. A former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard is hired to protect a superstar from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge – what they don't expect is to fall in love. A breathtakingly romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a whole host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, Greatest Love Of All, Million Dollar Bill, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and one of the greatest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.

The Band

The Band is at Milton Keynes Theatre on 8th March at 5pm. With story by award winning writer Tim Firth, The Band is for anyone who grew up with a boyband and about how those songs became the soundtrack to their lives. For five 16 year old girls in 1993, the band is everything. 25 years on, we are reunited with this group of friends as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes. Featuring the music of Take That, Britain’s most successful boyband of all time, whose songs include Never Forget, Back For Good, A Million Love Songs, Greatest Day, The Flood, Relight My Fire, Shine & Rule the World and starring the winners from the BBC’s Let it Shine, Five to Five. The Band is now the fastest selling musical theatre tour of all time. Don’t miss your chance to see this breathtaking brand new production first before it hits London’s West End. Please note, some strong language in the show.

With the Octagon Theatre, Bolton closed for rebuilding, Arthur Miller’s The Last Yankee is presented just across the road at Bolton Library with our audio described performance on 11th March at 7.30pm. Two men visit their wives in a psychiatric hospital. Both women struggle with depression and addiction to prescription drugs. This funny, compassionate and profoundly moving play gives hope to us all.

Facing Out: Life after treatment for facial cancer is at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester with an AD tour by Anne Hornsby on 12th March at 10.30am. This is an exhibition of portraits of people who have experienced facial cancers together with their choice of artworks from the Whitworth collections. The portraits have been created in public by Lucy Burscough during her residency at Maggie’s Cancer Support Centre at The Christie Hospital. Centre visitors were welcome to chat to Lucy about her work as they watched the paintings develop. As someone who looks at faces for her job, Burscough is interested in what happens when someone experiences cancer which alters their appearance. If the face changes, how does that affect one’s sense of self? Becoming the subject of a portrait under these circumstances is an empowering act of defiance and welcoming people to look at one’s face, scars and all, is an invitation to acknowledge a shared humanity and triumph over this indiscriminate illness.

Motown The Musical is at the Opera House, Manchester on 13th March at 7.30pm. The songs. The sound. The story. The tale of Motown Records and the man who fought to create something more than just a record label and brought to us music that defined a generation. This is Motown the Musical! This is the next chapter in Motown's incredible history and is an experience you'll never forget. Featuring over 50 classic hits including 'My Girl', 'What's Going On', 'Dancing in the Street', 'I heard it through the Grapevine', and 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'.

On 18th March at 5pm at the Portico Library, Manchester is an audio described tour by Anne Hornsby of Fancy Pants. In this exhibition, books from the Portico Library’s collection are presented alongside new artworks that examine how dress and costume’s relationships with gender, class, power and identity have always been complicated. Artists Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Ruby Kirby, Lindsey Mendick and Camille Smithwick offer expressive works that explore how dress and costume connect with celebration, ritual and morality. These works are complemented by volumes from the collection. A fascinating exhibition and an opportunity to experience this historic Manchester venue.

Over at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on 19th March at 7.30pm is Les Miserables. After nearly a decade since the last sell-out UK tour, Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed Broadway production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables will tour the UK in 2019. This brilliant new staging has taken the world by storm and has been hailed as ‘Les Mis for the 21st Century’. With scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the magnificent score of Les Misérables includes the songs: I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Master Of The House and many more. Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 45 countries and in 22 languages, Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals. Storm the barricades for a ticket. Please note: The performance includes gunfire, smoke and flashing light effects

At Liverpool on 20th March at 7.30pm we present Brick Up 2, the Royal Court Theatre’s follow up to the show that brought the house down in 2017. The tunnels are blocked, the Runcorn Bridge is rubble and The Kingsway Three have completed their mission. But The Wirral are not going to take this lying down! Led by Ann Twacky, a hardy bunch of the Wirralians are rising up and calling for Birkenhexit. They don’t want the tunnels back and they are prepared to go to extremes to keep them shut. They can do just fine on their own, thank you very much. Written by Nicky Allt and Dave Kirby. Tickets will shift faster than Boris Johnson on a Grab-a-Granny night!

At the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester is Barber Shop Chronicles.One day, six cities, a thousand stories. For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops. Sometimes they have haircuts, sometimes they listen, more often than not they talk. Barber shops are confession boxes, political platforms, preacher-pulpits and football pitches... places to go for unofficial advice, and to keep in touch with the world. Barber Shop Chronicles is a heart-warming, hilarious and insightful play, set in Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra and London. The play invites the audience into a uniquely masculine environment where the banter may be barbed, but the truth always telling. The barbers of these tales are sages, role models and father figures, They are the glue that keeps men together. ★ ★ ★ ★ 'This wonderful new play is a revelation' The Times (National Theatre 2017). Barber Shop Chronicles will be described by Eleanor Walk on 23rd February at 2.30pm.

Benidorm Live

At Leeds Grand Theatre on 23rd March, Chris Berry describes Benidorm Live. Starring Jake Canuso (Mateo), Janine Duvitski (Jacqueline), Adam Gillen (Liam), Sherrie Hewson (Joyce Temple-Savage), Shelley Longworth (Sam), Tony Maudsley (Kenneth) and featuring Neptune’s very own Asa Elliott, the official world premiere of Derren Litten's smash-hit ITV comedy Benidorm is set to bring sunshine and smiles to Leeds in the stage debut production of the hugely popular TV show. ITV’s award-winning comedy celebrates over a decade of all-inclusive hilarity, having followed the ensemble cast of holiday makers and staff for ten series since it first broadcast in 2007. Book now for a dose of Benidorm sunshine and see your favourite stars from the Solana live on stage for the very first time.

At St Helens Library on 28th March at 2pm and 7pm, The Hard Way is the story of Anna Mitchell, a one-woman show of storytelling and song.

Back at HOME, Manchester and The Funeral Director on 30th March at 7.45pm is a new drama on the theme of Muslim same-sex relationships. For Ayesha, life as the director of a Muslim funeral parlour isn’t always easy, but she has things pretty sorted. She and Zeyd share everything: a marriage, a business, a future. Until Tom walks in to organise his boyfriend’s funeral. A snap moral decision, informed by the values of their community and their faith, has profound consequences. Forced to confront a secret she has hidden even from herself, Ayesha must decide who she is – no matter the cost. Winner of the 2018 Papatango New Writing Prize from 1,384 entries, The Funeral Director is an incisive and heartfelt story of sexuality, gender and religion in 21st century Britain.

Avenue Q

Finally, at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford on 30th March at 2.30pm is the zappy musical Avenue Q. Missed all the fuzz last time round? Don’t let your life suck – book now for this hilarious show. The fur-lariously laugh-out-loud musical is back by popular demand. Catch-up with all your favourite (and unforgettable) characters on a downtown New York street trying to make sense of life’s burning issues – like what do you do with a BA in English? How do you find your purpose? And is the internet really just for….never mind. Created by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (Co-creator of Book of Mormon). From the producers of Footloose, Flashdance and American Idiot. Suitable for audiences 14+. ‘You’d be a muppet to miss it!’ Edinburgh Evening News

Join Us For A Fabulous February!

Dirty Dancing is back! Exploding with heart-pounding music, breath-taking emotion and sensationally sexy dancing, this show will be audio described at the Alhambra Theatre on Saturday, 2 February at 15:00. Featuring 35 hit songs, including Hungry Eyes, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me? and the heart stopping (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life. Don’t miss your chance to catch this sensational new production! Dirty Dancing will also be audio described at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Saturday 6 April at 14.30pm.

Directed by the BAFTA-winning Noreen Kershaw (Coronation Street, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes), A Different Way Home will be audio described at 19:30 on Thursday, 7 February at the Oldham Coliseum. In this deeply moving, funny and astutely observed play, two monologues from a brother and sister living on the outskirts of Manchester tell a powerful story from two wildly different perspectives. Leslie, who has lived with his mother all his life, tells of the events leading up to her death, unwittingly revealing the extent of his loss and his bitterness towards his sister, Maureen. Feeling betrayed and rejected by her family, Maureen tells a different story of grief and isolation. The two powerful voices remind us of the need for families to communicate and for love to transcend prejudice. Both roles within the play will be taken by Coliseum favourite – Kenneth Alan Taylor.

Club Tropicana

Take a trip back to the electric 80s and embark on a summer of love and smash-hit classics, with the audio described performance of Club Tropicana at the Alhambra Theatre on Saturday, 9 February at 14:30. The star cast is led by Joe McElderry (X Factor winner, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Neil McDermott (EastEnders, Eugenius!), Kate Robbins (Spitting Image, ITV’s The Imitation Game, Dinnerladies), Emily Tierney (Eugenius!, Wicked, The Wizard of Oz); and former Sugababe star Amelle Berrabah, making her musical theatre debut.

Welcome to the vibrant Club Tropicana Hotel - the 1980s answer to Love Island - where the drinks are free and the whole family is invited to join the ultimate holiday musical, celebrating all that we love about the 80s. The show is set to a soundtrack of some of the most iconic, chart-topping acts from the 80s, including ABC, Cyndi Lauper, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, a-ha, Culture Club, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, Bucks Fizz and Depeche Mode; - experience their hits all performed live on stage. Club Tropicana - Your destination awaits!

More than 10,000 theatre-goers cheered when Jersey Boys made its sell-out premiere in Waterbury in October 2013. Worldwide, more than 24 million people have seen the show that made critics and audiences cheer. Jersey Boys is returning to the Palace Theatre, Manchester, and is being audio described on Tuesday, 12 February at 19:30. The show features the Frankie Valli's and Four Seasons’ hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Winner of every major Best Musical award, including the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, 'London's hottest musical' (Smooth Radio) Kinky Boots comes to Venue Cymru with the show being audio described on Wednesday, 13 February at 19:30. With songs by Grammy and Tony winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and book by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), this 'dazzling, fabulously sassy and uplifting' (Time Out) musical celebrates a joyous story of Brit grit to high-heeled hit, as it takes you from the factory floor of Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan! West End star Kayi Ushe will be putting on the boots to play Lola. He will be joined by Paula Lane as Lauren, best known for her role as Kylie Platt in Coronation Street, and Joel Harper-Jackson, who recently starred in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time UK tour, will be playing Charlie Price. It’s the ultimate fun night out for you and your loved ones, so book now and experience the energy, joy and laughter of this dazzling show. Don’t worry, if you miss it this time, it is being audio described again on Thursday, 21 February at New Theatre Oxford, at the Bristol Hippodrome on 6 March, at Liverpool Empire on 3 April, at Leeds Grand on 17 April, at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal on 6 June, at Bradford’s Alhambra on 26 October, and at Milton Keynes Theatre on 6 November.

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets will be audio described at Home, Manchester on Thursday, 14 February at 14:30. Welcome to the Bayou, a part of the city feared and loathed wherein lies the infamous Bayou Mansions; a sprawling stinking tenement block, where curtain-twitchers and peeping-toms live side by side, and the wolf… is always at the door. When Agnes Eaves and her daughter arrive late one night, does it signal hope in this hopeless place, or has the real horror only just begun? Seamlessly synchronising live music, performance and storytelling with stunning films and animation, this is the wickedly twisted international hit tale from the multiple award-winning company behind Golem, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and The Magic Flute. Like a giant novel bursting into life, 1927 invite you on a theatrical journey of startling originality.

The smash hit musical Rock of Ages is back in the UK, and is audio described at the Regent Theatre Stoke on Saturday, 16 February at 14:30. Lose yourself in a city and a time where the dreams are as big as the hair, and yes, they can come true! This hilarious musical comedy will have you singing and laughing along with its epic songs, including We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight this Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is, played loud and proud by an awesome live band. Now a global smash with hit seasons on Broadway, London’s West End and Las Vegas and a star- studded Hollywood movie version, we promise you outrageous rock ‘n’ roll debauchery at the biggest party in town!

Yellow Brek Road

Gerry Linford (The Miracle Of Great Homer Street) returns with a brand new comedy that is out of this world! Yellow Brek Road is being audio described on Wednesday, 20 February at 20:00 at the Royal Court, Liverpool.

The Potters have always been happy in their Anfield home, times may have been tough but they can rely on each other. Dot’s turned 21 now and she wants more. Her mates are off to Ibiza but she needs to stay at home to look after her foul-mouthed Nan. It’s just not fair! As night falls beneath a magical full moon her world is turned upside down when a bump to the head sends her spinning away through time and space. She lands on the moon where she meets a host of familiar looking characters, including barmy Uncle Barry and the slimy sod who wants to sell their house from under them. Will she learn her lesson? There’s one thing for certain – there’s no place like home.

Mother Courage and her Children is presented at The Royal Exchange Manchester, in a sharp new version of Brecht's universally celebrated classic, by Anna Jordan, The audio description is on Saturday, 23 February at 14:30.

War rages over decades, but it’s business as usual for Mother Courage. She roams the grid from one army camp to another, her ragtag offspring in tow. Boots, beer, drugs, guns – anything a soldier desires can be bought from off the back of MC’s cart. She’s determined to turn conflict into capital. But what will it cost her? Julie Hesmondhalgh (THE ALMIGHTY SOMETIMES, WIT, BROADCHURCH) returns to the Royal Exchange as the tenacious Courage.

From the writer of Partition and the award-winning The Chef Show, Glory will be audio described at the Dukes Theatre on Wednesday, 27 February at 19:30.

Meet Dan, Ben and Sami. Three wrestlers compelled to climb over the ropes and into the ring to fight for glory. Three men wrestling with demons, life, each other. Jim ‘Glorious’ Glory used to be a somebody. In the heyday of British wrestling, he was a colossus. Now his empire has crumbled. Through Dan, Ben and Sami, Jim catches a glimpse of resurrection; a chance to re-establish his great name and his decaying gym. But do they want to wrestle and restore Jim’s glory? Or do they have a different fight in mind? Only one hero can emerge.

A Skull in Connemara

We return to the Oldham Coliseum on Thursday, 28 February at 19:30 with an audio described performance of BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Martin McDonagh’s black comedy, A Skull in Connemara.

This show draws you into the unfolding mysteries of an Irish village. Mick is a gravedigger whose wife died under mysterious circumstances some seven years ago. Rumour has it, it was murder. When the time comes to exhume bodies from the Connemara graveyard he finds her bones are missing.

Going into March, Wise Children will be audio described at Home on Friday, 1 March at 19:30. A big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak, this is a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies by the thousand.

On Tuesday, 5 March, Arthur Miller’s The Last Yankee will be audio described at the Bolton Library at 19:30. Two men visit their wives in a psychiatric hospital. Both women struggle with depression and addiction to prescription drugs. Once ‘the handsomest pair in town’, Patty and her carpenter husband, Leroy, now struggle to make ends meet whilst trying to create a home for their seven children. John Frick, a wealthy businessman, can’t understand why Karen, ‘a women who has everything she could possibly want’, has inexplicably ‘lost all her optimism’. In a world where so many people experience mental health concerns, Arthur Miller’s funny, compassionate and profoundly moving play gives hope to us all.

Looking ahead to 12 March is an audio described tour of the FACING OUT exhibition at the Whitworth.

With so many shows to choose from, we look forward to seeing you soon!

Meanwhile Anne is off to Kilkenny to work with Arts and Disability Ireland, to train staff and artists in visual impairment awareness and audio description. Representatives from many different galleries and museums will attend the training, ensuring a warm welcome for blind and partially sighted visitors in future.