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A few words on creative access

Imagine if we could rebuild the world to make sure it’s accessible for everyone. A world where universal design is the guiding principle. This is what we’re trying to do as we build the world of Leave the Light on for Me.

Imagine if we could rebuild the world to make sure it’s accessible for everyone. A world where universal design is the guiding principle. This is what we’re trying to do as we build the world of Leave the Light on for Me.

Access provision for theatre shows is conventionally added on after the piece has been created. There are often only a handful of accessible performances during the run of a show for people who need them to book, and these are usually to meet specific but often separate access needs (Captioned performances, Audio Described performances, Relaxed performances, etc.). This means that audience members who require an accessible performance have less choice about which show they can book for.

In recent years, shows with creative access incorporated into all performances have been on the rise, particularly those that include British Sign Language. For Leave the Light on for Me, Mind the Gap has chosen to focus on incorporating Audio Description but creative access is not about repeating the same set of information in different ways. It is about enriching every sensory experience to add different layers of texture. This inclusive approach has led the creative team into a truly collaborative process between the co-creating cast, directors, composer, movement director and designer. Each of these moving parts interact with, inform, and bounce off each other, to deepen the experience and deliver the story.

The whole creative team has got behind this exciting challenge from the get go and we are making a piece that gives audience members with different access needs an equally rich experience. Whether you are d/Deaf, have a Learning Disability and/or Autism, are partially sighted or have a visual impairment, you will be able to enjoy any of the performances of Leave the Light on for Me.

This process is an eye (and ear) opening experience (no pun intended!) for all creatives involved. It is beyond access! This new way of working challenges us to closely examine internalised habits and, in turn, discover a deeper understanding of our own practise. It helps us to expose unspoken rules in theatre making and break down conventions that could normally be barriers to some people.

By Joyce Nga Yu Lee, Artistic Director

Leave the Light on for Me will be touring festivals around the UK in summer 2022. Commissioned by Unlimited.

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