Shadow-interpreted performances of Naughty Meg

Shadow-interpreted performance

Wed 10 Dec 2014

Here at Derby LIVE we believe that theatre-going should be accessible to all and have a strong commitment to ensuring this can happen. We organise a number of access performances each season, with both BSL signed interpreted and Audio described performances includes in the programme.

This year we've decided to try something a little different for our Christmas show - Naughty Meg and the Christmas Elves by adding 5 shadow-interpreted performances during the run. 

But what is shadow-interpreted? Well, the traditional arrangement of sign-interpreted performances keeps interpreters off to one side of the stage (usually stage left) and means that audience members who are hard of hearing have to choose whether to watch the action on stage or the professional interpreter on the side. For this reason, an alternative approach to sign language in the theatre is Shadow-interpreting, in which interpreters stay on the stage rather than off to the side. As the interpreter is incorporated into the performance itself, the end result is a more seamless experience for the entire audience.

Naughty Meg and the Christmas Elves will be Shadow-interpreted by Registered Qualified BSL Interpreter, Sarah Gatford. Sarah is also a member of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters and the East Midlands Regional Contact Person.

Sarah says, “Last Christmas, I had the great experience of working with the Babbling Vagabonds as BSL Interpreter for The Christmas Chocolate Shop at the Guildhall Theatre in Derby. We spoke then about how interpreting in a more involved way could enhance the experience for the Deaf audience. So this year we have been working to make that happen. I have been along to rehearsals and am going to be interpreting, not by standing at the side of the stage in the more traditional style, but by following the actors as they move around on stage.”

“This is a style of interpreting which means that, for those Deaf audience members who rely on watching the interpreter, they will not have to split their focus and miss the action on stage when they look at the interpreter then look at the stage. The interpreter and the action are seen at the same time. We hope that audiences will enjoy the show and the elements shadow interpreting brings to it as much as we have enjoyed working on an idea we had last year and making it a reality.”

The performances of Naughty Meg and the Christmas Elves that are Shadow-interpreted are; Fri 12 Dec 1:30pm, Tue 16 Dec 10:30am, Sat 20 Dec 2:30pm, Tue 23 Dec 11am & Sun 28 Dec 2:30pm.