Malvern Theatres welcomed a group of GCSE students from New College Worcester to experience a touch tour of the set of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
The students, who were all blind or visually impaired, were given a guided tour of the set by the company manager and theatre staff. The play’s star, actor Phil Daniels, also explained various visual tricks that would be used throughout the show and the young students got to handle the props.
Cara, 15, said: “Being on the stage has been very inspirational and made the day very accessible. My sight is changeable and on bad days I wouldn’t usually get any enjoyment from going to the theatre, but having this tour has been very satisfying as I can understand what the stage is like.”
Andrew, 16, agreed: “It was useful to understand the general depth of the set and the explanations make it more 3D.”
Fizzy, 15, said: “The theatre can be very confusing if you’re blind and you’ve not explored the set. I liked getting to touch the different props and know what they were used for in the play. It gives me a better sense of the stage.”
David Hinds, head of English at the College, said: “The students really enjoyed exploring the set. Without doing this blind students can feel like they’re just sat in a room, not in an auditorium where a performance is taking place. It’s a fantastic experience for them.”
Nic Lloyd, Chief Executive of Malvern Theatres, said: “We want Malvern Theatres to be a venue where everyone in our community feels welcome to enjoy the arts. Offering touch tours of a set transforms the theatre experience for blind and visually impaired people, making it more inclusive.”
Malvern Theatres has also done a touch tour for this week’s Spamalot and has one for the upcoming The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales, which also has a captioned performance.
There will be an audio described performance of A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as relaxed performances for Hansel and Gretel, The Little Matchgirl and Spamalot. The theatre also does monthly relaxed cinema screenings. For more information visit malvern-theatres.co.uk/take-part.
If you would like to support Malvern Theatres’ inclusivity programme then please contact email@example.com.