On The Tracks: Review by Yvette Priestley

Dash trustee Yvette Priestley went to a screening of a new play in Birmingham by Lucy Hayward, directed with visually impaired audiences in mind.

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On the Tracks

23 September 2017

Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham

Reviewed by Yvette Priestley, DASH Trustee

On the Tracks is a piece of work looking at how people live in country towns. It was created by visually impaired playwright Lucy Hayward, whilst completing her Master of Philosophy in Playwriting Studies at Birmingham University. Lucy finds that while attending the theatre can be an interesting experience, audio description can be useful but does not always allow her to interact with the play. 

She was able to develop her work further with Jemma Kennedy at the National Theatre, and Da Da Fest have provided funding to support this performance in order to obtain feedback.

Lucy was offered support from one of the directors at Birmingham Rep to develop this piece further, and intends to take it on tour in the next year.

On the Tracks is a thirty minute stage play that uncovers the lives of two men who work in a country railway station at night.

 

DASH Trustee Yvette Priestley attended the performance to give her perspective as a visually impaired person.

 â€œOn the Tracks is a 30 minute performance which is currently in its research and development phase. The playwright, Lucy Hayward intends to take the play on tour in 2018. She is visually impaired and is using this opportunity to integrate accessibility into the performance itself rather than have an extra layer of audio description. The main themes of the play provide the base for a powerful emotional performance, so this should not be attended by the faint-hearted.

Access

Prior to the performance an audio programme was provided containing information regarding the cast, props and costumes. This could be refined for the final production with a brief description about the opening five minutes. If a printed  programme is to be produced, then it would also be helpful if an electronic version of the programme is made available.

Directly before the performance a touch tour was given to visually impaired audience members. However, the minimalist nature of the play means this is a nice to have feature rather than entirely necessary, so long as the description of the items is in the programme. Minor modifications to the final production would definitely achieve the aim of integrating access into the performance. It would be important to reassure visually impaired audience members that access is integrated in order to minimise anxiety about attending.

Characters and themes

Ted and Robert  are the two characters in this play who command our attention from start to finish. They are both night shift workers on the railway, but that is where their similarities end. Robert is a young family man who is outgoing and is comfortable with technology. Ted is older and is marginalised.

As the play progresses we are drawn into the issues in Ted's life and it starts to become more apparent that there is something not quite right about his story. The intense emotional performance is stunning. The pace of the production is also managed well by the actors, which is helped along by the urgency of the ringing phone.  

Recommendation

Overall, the play would be appreciated by a mainstream audience or by visually impaired people attending the performance. The interesting exploration of family difficulties means that anyone can engage with the play even if the scenario presented is unique.”

Contact Dance Company

At Wolverhampton Arena on Friday 13th October...

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'A breath taking, beautiful performance that provided food for the soul'...

Contact Dance Company will be performing powerful duets that explore the unique relationships & dynamics that hold us together or pull us apart.

The performances will include duets by Mosaic Disability Theatre, made during the company's residency at Arena Theatre

Friday 13th October at 1:30pm and 7:30pm - tickets priced Â£12 and Â£10 - with local groups discount £5. Matinee all tickets, Â£5

Tickets can be booked from The Arena Theatre Box Office on: 01902 321321

Contact Dance Company are part of Shropshire Inclusive Dance - www.sidance.live

All The Things We Could Have Been

Presented by The Permission to Perform Players...

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7pm - 14th December 2016

Newhampton Arts Centre, Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4AN

Box Office: 01902 572090

'All The Things We Could Have Been' is a full-length show featuring a host of devised original performances by The Permission to Perform Players, worked into the adapted original narrative. 

This is a powerful yet playful journey of Discovery; with live music, spoken word, song and comedy all woven into a tail for freedom.

Age Restriction 14+

Tickets £5 or £3 concessions.

For further information please contact Robin Surgeoner, email: info@whyfestival.co.uk or visit the website: http://www.whyfestival.co.uk

Daughters of Fortune

An exciting new project exploring learning-disability and parenthood...

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It is a project about humanity, of human experience. It aims to resonate with everybody, with or without a disability. Everybody was a child, everybody has a mother, every body has a belly button to prove it.

The issue of learning disability parenthood is complex. Medical experts, geneticists, social workers, council officers and advocates have all been involved in the creation of Daughters of Fortune. The most important people involved however are the learning-disabled parents who have kindly shared their real life stories with us.

The Daughters of Fortune Family includes three major productions:

The Daughters of Fortune Family will continue to grow over the next 18 months so keep checking back here to follow the development of the project.

Mind-The-Gap are performing Daughters of Fortune next week at The Arena Theatre Wolverhampton on the 9th and 10th of November.

Seek Find

An all ages show that is accessible to everyone.

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Come along on a beautiful beast of a multi-sensory, promenade, immersive performance experience made by a mixed community and professional cast.

mac birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, B12 9QH.

Friday 17th June: 1pm (private performance) and 7pm 

Saturday 18th June: 12.30pm and 4pm

Download and view the performance flyer, below.

Some people have too many legs

Event taking place next week at the Ludlow Mascall Centre...

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Last summer Jackie Hagan went to hospital with a mystery disease, they told her she was going to die and cut bits of her off.

Luckily she didn't die, but she did eat loads and loads of Kit Kats because she thought it wouldn't matter if she got fat.

She lost a leg, made BFFs with an old woman, fell in love with a posh man called Miles and found her Dad.

A show about facing your fears and throwing glitter at them!

Wednesday 25th November at Ludlow Mascall Centre, starting 7:30pm. For ages 13+ with tickets £8 adults and £5 children.

For more information, please visit: Arts Alive

everyBODY dance

Performers are needed for a new film project.

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everyBODY dance is seeking four performers with physical or learning disabilities, sensory impairment or a mental health condition as lead artists in our 'Progress' project. 

'Progress' is a participatory film and workshop project for disabled and non-disabled people of all ages, supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund and produced by everyBODY dance in collaboration with The George Marshall Medical Museum and The Infirmary Museum in Worcester. 

The George Marshall Medical Museum and Infirmary Museum house some 8,000 exhibits that chronicle a rich medical history, telling the stories of medicine and health care, with particular reference to Worcester.

The performers are invited to work with the artistic team on a day-long tour and exploration of the museums and their collections, followed by creative response during a two day film shoot of improvised movement material. 

3 days' work in total between 18th and 30th November 2015 

The project takes place in a variety of spaces in Worcester city. 

Fee £500 + travel, with accommodation provided.

'everyBODY dance aims to inspire create and explore great dance experiences for disabled and non-disabled people of all ages in unexpected spaces'.

Please send CV and covering letter to: 

Rachel Freeman at http://rfeverybodydance@gmail.com

Deadline 5pm, 21st September 2015.

Edmund the Learned Pig

Presented by Fittings Multimedia Arts, Krazy Kat Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

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Written by Mike Kenny with music by Martyn Jacques.

With integrated sign language and audio description.

Thursday 1st October at 1pm & 7.30pm and Friday 2nd October at 1pm.

ARENA THEATRE, Wolverhampton

Bonaparte's travelling circus and marvellous menagerie has hit the skids. A zoo with just pigeons, an aerialist with vertigo and a Mr Memory who can't remember his name. No one was coming.

And then into their lives came a Pig...

Gasp as Edmund proves he's no ordinary porker. Thrill as he tries to save the Circus. Shiver as he goes in search of the ghastly fate of pigs...

Suitable for Vegetarians, Carnivores and the Deaf – adults and young shavers alike!

Ticket prices:

Afternoon performances - all tickets are £5

Evening performances - tickets are £10 full price and £8 for concessions

For more details and to book tickets call the Arena Theatre Box Office on 01902 321 321 or visit the website and book online arena.wlv.ac.uk

Supported by Black Country Touring and Outside Centre.

Vital Xposure

Presents, The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence

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Written by Julie McNamara and directed by Paulette Randall.

This show has integrated sign language.

Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September at 7.30pm, ARENA THEATRE, Wolverhampton

1915. England is at war and the Suffragette movement is gaining strength. Journalist Dorothy Lawrence aspires to become a war correspondent, cycles to the frontline in France – and is never seen in public again.

Vital Xposure interrogates the ways society deals with women who step out of line, back in 1915 or 100 years on when a Punk Prayer is screamed out in an orthodox cathedral.

A cast of four, with integrated British sign language interpretation and audio-visual elements, leads the audience back in time to explore themes of inequality and power that still resonate today.

Tickets are £10 full price and £8 for concessions.

BOOKING OPENS MONDAY 17th AUGUST 

For more details and to book tickets call the Arena Theatre Box Office on 01902 321 321or visit our website and book online http://arena.wlv.ac.uk

Supported by Outside Centre and Black Country Touring

Don't forget Deafinitely Theatre

Something Else - based on the popular children's book written by Kathryn Cave and illustrated by Chris Riddell.

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Friday 15th May at 11am and 1.30pm.

ARENA THEATRE, Wolverhampton.

A story about a small creature who lives his life always trying to fit in. But he never does, because he's Something Else. Then one day a stranger turns up on his doorstep and wants to be friends.

Deafinitely Theatre nurture and showcase deaf talent, creating work that is accessible to both deaf and hearing audiences.

Something Else is performed by deaf and hearing actors using both BSL and spoken words.

Suitable for children aged 3 - 6 years.

All tickets are £5.

For more details or to book tickets call the Arena Theatre Box Office on 01902 321 321 or visit our website to book online arena.wlv.ac.uk