Integrated Access: Is it working? (2018)

In January 2018 Unscene Suffolk members took part in a Focus Group as part of a research project conducted by Extant, Britain’s leading professional performing arts company of visually impaired people. We were asked about our experiences of Audio Description as audiences, performers and describers. The Focus Group was referenced in the final report by researchers Louise Fryer and Amelia Cavallo, and at a special event at University College London where the results were presented.

Below are links to the presentation video and report documents.

Presentation event 

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The Greatest Show… that Never Happened (2018)

Unscene Suffolk presents: The Greatest Show… that Never Happened
Ipswich Town Hall (Council Chamber), Cornhill, Ipswich, IP1 1DH 
Saturday 13th October 2018 3.00pm & 7.00pm
Sunday 14th October 2018 6.30pm

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Welcome to the Cornhill Music Hall, where a dazzling spectacle of music,
movement, magic and melodrama is billed for your entertainment, but
unexpected events threaten to derail the show!

Will disaster be averted…? Will Sue get sawn in half? Why didn’t the
psychic predict all of this?

Prepare to be amused, astonished and a little bit miffed as Unscene
Suffolk’s company of visually impaired actors celebrates old-time variety
in this light-hearted musical play for blind and sighted audiences.

Book online
or call 01473 433100

Tickets £12.00 /  Concessions £6.00
Concession rate includes disabled people/carers and students/under 18’s
(A booking fee of £1.00 per ticket is included in these prices)

All performances audio described, with touch tours beginning 15 minutes
before the show. Please inform the box office when booking if you would
like to receive pre-show notes or attend a touch tour. Guide dogs are welcome in the auditorium.

BSL interpreted performance 3pm 13 Oct

An amateur production funded by The Big Lottery and Suffolk Community
Foundation through Joy Abbott Fund, David and Jill Simpson Fund and Suffolk
Giving Fund.

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Time Hackers (2017)

Our first ever tour was a huge success. Time Hackers was performed at three primary schools followed by two public shows in the HEG. Photographs by Mike Kwasniak.

Four cousins ignore their Grandma’s warning about the old games console in the spare room, and find themselves sucked into a virtual world full of curious characters and perplexing problems. Suitable for ages 7+.

Primary Schools tour 12-14 July 2017

Public performances:
15 July at 1.30 and 3.30pm,
High Street Exhibition Gallery,
Ipswich, IP1 3QH

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All performances audio described, with touch tours beginning 15 minutes before the show.

We are grateful to have received funding from Arts Council England and Suffolk Community Foundation through David and Jill Simpson Fund and De La Rue Family Fund towards this project. An amateur production as part of The New Wolsey Theatre’s Open Season.

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A Zimmer of Hope (2016)

Click here to download our project report.

Production photos by Mike Kwasniak – click to enlarge.

This year the cast were involved in writing and performing our video and audio trailers which can be found below.

Funded by Arts Council England, Suffolk Community Foundation and the Henry Smith Charity. Supported by the New Wolsey Theatre and Sensing Change.


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Through the Magnifying Glass (2015)

Cast documentary, behind the scenes of Through the Magnifying Glass

Our third production, Through the Magnifying Glass, took place in the New Wolsey Theatre’s HEG Space in July 2015.

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A full report on the project can be downloaded here.. (Please contact us if you require this in another format).

Through the Magnifying Glass was our first co-production with the New Wolsey Theatre, and part of the Moving Stories Project, which examined notions of belonging as a Deaf or disabled person within the wider community. We were delighted to be involved alongside the other partners, DanceEast and Pacitti Company.

Our audience joined us for tea and cabaret. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, Through the Magnifying Glass weaved together the serious, surreal and downright silly, as our journeys and experience inspired a powerful multi-sensory performance. The show was audio described within the script and one performance was BSL-interpreted.

Jenni, Denise and Justin were interviewed by Archant Suffolk for a newspaper feature, and Archant also made this great mini-documentary, featuring clips of the cast in rehearsal:

This project was funded by Esmee Fairbairn and Arts Council England. Supported by the New Wolsey Theatre and Sensing Change.

Production photos by Mike Kwasniak – click to enlarge:073079
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Fossils (2014)

Fossils cast photoUnscene Suffolk’s second production, Fossils, was performed in July 2014 at Ipswich Museum. An audio described documentary video about the project can be found below. This film begins with an audio-only introduction of 1 minute 40 seconds. To view the video without audio description click here.

For more information download our evaluation report here: Unscene Suffolk Evaluation report 2014

Audience feedback:

 “Brilliant – I really enjoyed it. Gave us something to think about.”

 “Excellent. Fascinating story and a very professional production.”

 “Fantastic setting! Very clear idea, well performed. Unusual and quite inspirational.”

 “Absolutely brilliant – what a great organisation. Thank you.”

 “Brilliant beyond my expectations”

 “Fantastic show, very inventive and really clever use of an unusual and interesting setting – wonderful and unique!”

 “I always thought theatre was on a stage in front of an audience. I’ve never been to anything that’s been so inclusive.”

Production photos by Mike Kwasniak – click on a picture to enlarge:

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Participant feedback on the project:

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with you all – thank you for making me feel so welcome in the group.”

 “I am [now] more likely to give input in a group situation, and happier to start a conversation in public.”

 “Having audio description in the show gave me an awareness of what was going on the whole time and helped me to follow the show.”

 “I liked the different ways we all had of learning our lines. The whole thing felt better and I felt more included”

 “I had never been in the museum before. Now I have visited with my partner, son and grandson”

 “The thing I will take away from this process is that I learnt to trust people to help me.”

 “[At first] I thought it wasn’t for me but it’s just so overwhelming how it all slotted in and the outcome…. I’m glad I made myself come back because I very nearly ditched out. I didn’t expect it to be such teamwork. It never entered my head that acting was such a big team effort …It’s brilliant. Bring on the next one!”


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The Cave (2013)

Unscene Suffolk’s first production, The Cave, took place in July 2013 at the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich. An audio described documentary video about the project can be found below. This film begins with a two minute audio-only introduction. To view the video without audio description click here.

To view the video in full screen mode click ‘Vimeo’ in the bottom right corner.

Production photos by Mike Kwasniak (click on an image to enlarge):

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For more information download our evaluation report here:

Unscene Suffolk Evaluation report Feb – July. 2013

Some participants’ comments about their experiences:

“ I have been honoured and amazed by everybody’s abilities and would cherish the opportunity to do it again”

“Before we started I always thought that theatre was a very very visual medium. The workshops taught me that that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case”

 “I absolutely adored the whole thing. I never would have thought I could find so much energy”

“I just wanted to overcome my fears about public speaking and do something that I was actually interested in… I think it definitely has increased my confidence”

“not only have I found myself suddenly become blind but suddenly bereft of workmates and friends… I feel so much better having known [this group]… because we’re here sharing the same thing. It’s been very valuable”

And here’s what the audience said about the show:

“I thought it was very beautifully performed I loved the music and thought the design with the drapes /projection was excellent.”

“Brilliant, would love to take part in future and really enjoyed the performance.”

 “Fantastic performance, very creative and a wonderfully unique experience, enjoyable and thought provoking and very cleverly done. I’d recommend it to others.”

 “Very accessible and so cleverly dark I found the performance very powerful and moving.”

 “Very clever way of highlighting the physical and emotional difficulties of blind/partially sighted, quite moving in parts an unusual story.”

 “Very moving and surprisingly amusing, Very impressed by production.”

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