Deaf tourist enjoys first theatre visit with ‘wonderful’ captions
STAGETEXT has attended a number of events in Europe over the past two years, raising awareness of captioning and our work to increase access to the arts in the UK.
Our Chief Executive, Tabitha Allum, has spoken at high profile conferences in Austria, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, and organisations working on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing people in Finland, Sweden and Spain have visited our offices to discuss the possibility of offering captioning in their country.
During a recent conference in Vienna, Tabitha met Malvina Kohn who was thrilled to find out about captioning and soon after enjoyed her first-ever experience of captioning at the Young Vic in London.
“I live in Vienna, Austria, and I have been deaf since I was a small child. My husband and all the family are hearing. I’ve had a cochlear implant for the last 4 ½ years, fitted when I was 59 years old.
Recently, I attended a presentation by Tabitha Allum, Chief Executive of STAGETEXT, at our club for deaf people in Vienna. I was so impressed about this wonderful possibility to see a play and to understand everything that I contacted Tabitha afterwards. She kindly sent me a programme of captioned shows and I got a flight to London to visit my son who lives there.
"I booked two tickets to see a play at the Young Vic called The Suit – it was a wonderful chance to attend a play with captions in a theatre. Tabitha gave me details and the front of house staff were very friendly and explained everything by email since I had no idea how to get to the venue!
I went to the Young Vic with a friend and when I entered the theatre I saw the board with the captions at the back of the stage, I could still not believe what I was seeing!
A captioned ‘welcome’ message to the theatre. Amazing!
I asked for a headset, putting my sound processor on ‘T’ – it was so good to hear the voices so clearly and read the captions at the same time!
A wonderful experience
"The captions showed every word spoken by each character and we could even read what music the band was playing and which musical instrument was being used! It was my first real experience of being able to understand and follow the meaning of a play! I’d never been to a theatre before, not even here in Vienna, as there are no captioned shows or plays available for deaf, deafened or hard of hearing people. It was also a wonderful experience for me to be able to discuss all the parts of this performance with my friend because I fully understood the purpose of this play!
I am so grateful to Tabitha and STAGETEXT for giving me this marvellous opportunity to now attend various theatrical performances and musicals with captions! I wish them much success and hope that many more deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people will be able to enjoy captioned shows and plays in the future. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more shows on my next trip to London in October.”
What's on next?
A Doll's House
23rd May 2013
Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester