Captioning comes to Colchester

Sandra Giorgetti

Essex County Council has given a grant of £6,000 from its Community Initiatives Fund to the Mercury Theatre for the purchase of a captioning unit, in a bid to improve access to the arts in the county.

Previously a unit shared between the Mercury, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds provided captioning, so the purchase of this equipment will see a captioning unit based solely in Essex for the first time.

This will lead to flexible programming of captioned performances for in-house / Made in Colchester and visiting shows and community use, boosting access for those who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.

The Mercury Theatre is including dementia-friendly performances in its programming this year and has expanded its youth theatre activities to include a youth theatre for young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and Take Flight, a summer school for those with disabilities and additional needs.

Relaxed, captioned and audio described performances are already regular features of the theatre programme.