Monday 21 June 2010

Reading along to Calendar Girls

Wow, what an utterly brilliant weekend I had!

So much so, that I didn't want to leave, which resulted in my not getting back to London until gone 10pm last night.

I was in the Wild West erm... Country visiting Jenny M, who's a hotshot theatre director don't you know.

Summer, with it's deluge of open-air plays, and unfortunately rain, is her busiest time, so I thought I'd squeeze in a quick visit before she became too caught up in cider, musketeers and Canterbury tales!!

We also decided last minute to go and watch Calendar Girls, which was showing at a theatre nearby. It wasn't captioned, so I was a bit worried about hearing any of it, but we had amazing seats six rows from the front so was a little bit hopeful might get something, so we took the plunge and bought the tickets.

But then I came to my senses and remembered I was deaf! Deaf! Unable to hear!

And so instead I asked Jenny M to use her excellent contacts and see if she could get me a script to read along to.

She wasn't hopeful as apparently, theatre scripts are closely-guarded things and no one likes to part with theirs – and I remember The Girl That Can't Help Knit saying something similar, too.

But by some miracle, the crew had several non-closely guarded scripts and, as a result were happy to give me one to follow.

And what a difference it made!

OK, so it meant I was looking down more than up most of the time but without it, I would have been asleep in my seat within 10 minutes as a result of the exaggerated Northern accents.

To be fair though, it was still fabulous, funny and all in all, a bit of a tearjerker, with a recognisable, in a don’t-I-know-you-from-somewhere way, cast, including Madge from Neighbours, Inspector Monroe from The Bill, somebody's wife from Only Fools and Horses, Charlie Dimmock from Ground Force and Dennis Waterman's daughter!

And when wandering around backstage afterwards, bumping into them, they all seemed rather lovely, too.

It did get me thinking though, I wonder if other deaf people would be happy to read along to a personal script in the event of subtitles not being available – I know I would always jump at the chance. And if they were, would the theatre companies consider having a couple of scripts spare that, on request could be loaned out with a deposit for the evening?

It would be amazing if this could happen. I could go to the theatre every night, instead of whenever Stagetext is there.

Don't get me wrong though, Stagetext is still royalty to me, but after finding out just how much time and energy goes into Stagetext’s attendances at performances, I'm not surprised it isn't able to do more.

So isn't this a lovely back-up plan?

What do you think?


SpeakUp Librarian said...

Long before I was diagnosed with a hearing loss, I had made a habit of reading a play's script in advance of attending the live performance. I wonder if I knew subconsciously I would miss a key plot point if I didn't prepare.

Kudos to you for attending the play and using the script. I've been reluctant to go to the theatre lately.


P.S. I did watch the Calendar Girls film on DVD with a friend and loved it.

Anonymous said...

Well you have to come to Paris : my favorite theater there does english-subtitled performances for tourists!

Me said...

Is it closed in August?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!!?!!?!!!?!? Take me, take me!
Can't wait to be there again and say Versailles with all the Ls!

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