Article of the Month

next article | index | previous article

December 2000

Fill in the gaps

Lisa Gibson, 
Royal Blind Society of NSW.

Live audio description for art lovers who are blind or have low vision

The Royal Blind Society recently launched a new initiative, live audio description, to "fill in the gaps" for arts lovers who are blind and vision impaired. The first audio described plays were performed as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Arts Festivals.

Claire and cast.

Olympic Arts Festival

Amongst the many RBS clients who participated in this new initiative was school aged Claire Butler who enjoyed an audio described performance of "Birds", performed at The Studio at the Sydney Opera House during the Olympic Arts Festival.

"Birds" is an ancient Greek comic play by Aristophanes. Undoubtedly a political play aimed not only at recognisable, indeed named, figures of the political landscape of his day but also at the prejudices and weaknesses of his fellow citizens.

For this festival "Birds" was translated into a mad, colourful play performed by talented school aged children from Australian Theatre for Young People, and featured the yellow breasted Pauline Hanson, the Cheryl Kernot bird, John Howard, Paul Keating and many other "birds".

You may be interested to read Claire's comments about the play, which was audio described:

"I really enjoyed the show called 'Birds'. I had a special earpiece that told me what was going on in the scenes.

The show was about politicians and birds. They formed a paradise in "". It was a comedy show that was really funny. The characters were all dressed as different types of birds, for example, there was a bird called Pauline Hanson, she was dressed in yellow - very bright yellow! Another character was Prime Minister, John Howard, a chicken.

I enjoyed the commentary lots because it told me what was going on in the scenes and my mum really enjoyed the show too because I didn't have to ask her any questions about what was happening."

The Royal Blind Society are currently working with a number of theatres, theatre companies and places of interest to include audio description as a regular service for patrons.  

Google links

End of Google links

next article | index | previous article