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National Theatre Smart Captioning Glasses (Photo: James Bellorini, Design: Alex Bell)

National Theatre Smart Captioning Glasses (Photo: James Bellorini, Design: Alex Bell)

Celebrating Captioning Awareness Week 2018

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements Published 12 November 2018

Leading arts charity Stagetext is celebrating its fourth annual Captioning Awareness Week to champion access to the arts for people who are d/Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.

The annual event, which runs from 12 to 18 November 2018, see theatres, museums, and galleries across the country holding captioned and live subtitled events in order to promote access, find new audiences and improve people’s experiences within the arts.

Deafinintely Girly, theatre blogger and Stagetext user, says: “Before I found out I was deaf [I was] falling asleep at the theatre. Feeling stupid because I couldn’t follow Shakespeare, wondering why people went to see musicals as there were no intelligible words being said.

“And then along came captions. And they saved my life. My quality of life. My belief in my own intelligence. And they gave me back the chance to have an amazing time at the theatre and leave feeling elated, educated and included.”

Stagetext provides captions, live subtitles, and digital subtitles to hundreds of productions and events throughout the UK, including Hamilton, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, and The Edinburgh International Book Festival, opening up arts and culture to people who may not catch every word.

Captioning Awareness Week raises the profile of captioned and live subtitled events, in which the words are displayed on screens at the same time as they are spoken or sung.

Melanie Sharpe, Stagetext CEO, says: “Around 11 million people in the UK have hearing loss and we want to make sure that they still have access to the breadth of theatrical and cultural experiences on offer.

“Already this year we have helped enabled 800 events to have captioning and live subtitling. Through Captioning Awareness Week we hope to shine a spotlight on the variety of different events and experiences that are available, so that audience members with hearing loss, or people who miss a word here and there can have their theatrical and cultural experiences transformed.

“By unifying arts venues and caption users from around the country, Stagetext hopes to bring to life the passion and excitement of the arts to many more people.”

Get involved with Captioning Awareness week by finding an event to attend at www.stagetext.org/CAW or join the fun on social media with #CAPaware18.


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We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

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While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.