Audio Described performances give blind and partially sighted people a live commentary about the action happening on the stage through a headset or electronic device.
Often the audio description is made up of three essential elements: a description of the set, costumes and characters. These are normally part of the “introductory notes” which take place around 10 minutes before the show.
The second step of the experience is a touch tour, which takes place around 30-60 minutes before the show and lasts for around 15-20 minutes. A Touch Tour gives blind or partially sighted people an opportunity to explore the set and props in order to gain a clearer picture of the show.
The final step is the descriptions of the visual elements of the performance. The actions, reactions, location changes, and any visual effects (lighting, smoke, dry ice). This happens live as the performance happens. Some audio description is pre-recorded, but this is a rarity.
The Arena Theatre has three options for you to experience Audio description.
- Use our inferred system with an earing loop (An older system)
- Radio system, using the Halo headset.
- Sennheiser’s Mobile connect, which can be used with any smart device and headphones.
On the evening of performances, the Duty Front of House Manager will have audio description headsets available for you to pick up and use.