UNDERSTANDING SHAKESPEARE

It was a difficult task for a deafened or hard of hearing person to follow a play by Shakespeare, who wrote in the 16th century English. The induction loop alone would not be much help here as the language is so difficult to follow.

Again, another milestone passed when StageTEXT captioned the “Macbeth” performance at the Globe Theatre in London on Saturday 6th of March 2010, the first captioned performance at the Globe.

Despite the difficulty in positioning the captioning screen, the theatre provided superb service.

The play had modern twist, appealing to younger audience, for whom it has been especially played in co- operation with Deutsche Bank. The co operation provides free plays for young people and families. I attended with my family.

The captioned play has proven to be a winner with both deafened and hearing people, as one of my hearing companions said:

thanks to the deaf people in the audience, I can finally understand and follow play without strain”.

This statement marks a significant change in direction as the captioning has proven to be beneficial for all, not just deafened people. We need concerted efforts now to ensure that captioning helps deafened and hearing people to enjoy theatre fully.

To follow latest updates on accessible theatre shows visit StageTEXT What’s On page.

To find out more about playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank initiative take a look in this link http://2011.playingshakespeare.org/

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