Every word counts

Captioning Awareness Week


Thank you to everyone who made this year's Captioning Awareness Week such a fantastic event! 

This was our 5th Captioning Awareness Week and it's getting bigger and better each year! In 2019 we were at more theatres and cultural venues than ever before, we celebrated our 19th birthday at the Almeida, appeared on ITV news, and held our first museum focussed industry event.

We've got some exciting plans for 2020 so keep an eye out for news about what will be our biggest campaign yet!

What was your first time?

During Captioning Awareness Week 2019, we asked you all to share your ‘first time’ with captions or live subtitles and how they have affected you… and you gave some amazing stories!











We want to thank everyone who shared their stories with us, shared the week with us, and everyone who continues to help us make Captioning Awareness Week better each year!

We were especially excited this year as we were able to help create some new ‘first time’ experiences. With thanks to Delfont Mackintosh and Mamma Mia The Musical, we were able to take Annie and Sarah to the theatre have some of their first times.


Stagetext met Annie at a City Lit lip reading class. She is adjusting to life with hearing loss but hadn’t been to a captioned performance before.

‘I love the theatre and used to go regularly. However, over the last few years I had virtually stopped going and it’s taken a while to realise why I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. Finally, I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t keeping up with the dialogue and that even with hearing aids, I was missing key words and phrases. So it is delightful to come across Stagetext and last weekend, I actually experienced my first live theatre for a long while. With the help of captions, I caught every single word and I so enjoyed the experience.’


Sarah, who is profoundly Deaf, contacted us because she wanted to take her six year old daughter to a captioned pantomime but there wasn’t one available in her local area.

‘I was very disappointed that my local theatre wasn't cooperative to provide captions for the panto. Mamma Mia will be my first West End musical with my daughter, Ava. She is aware that mummy cannot hear and relies on subtitles every day. Ava understands that the subtitles are there to help me to know what it being said.’


Captions and live subtitles have a huge impact on people’s lives and their families. It opens the door to enjoying and understanding theatre and other arts events. This is why we continually work to encourage venues to provide and promote these events, as well as encouraging new audiences to come along for their first time.

Think there aren’t any more firsts? Even if you are a seasoned captioned and live subtitled user, there’s always time for another first. Why not go to the very first captioned performance of Ghost Quartet, at a brand new theatre in London: www.stagetext.org/whats-on/8583-ghost-quartet


The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council