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Celebrating 25 years of Mind's Eye

Anne Hornsby at Mind's Eye 25th Birthday celebration.
Anne Hornsby at Mind's Eye 25th Birthday celebration.

It was an honour to celebrate 25 years of Mind's Eye at Bolton Octagon last week. A pioneer of UK Audio Description, Anne Hornsby launched Mind's Eye in the early 1990s to increase access to arts and cultural events for blind and visually impaired theatregoers.

We were one of the first theatres, along with Bolton Octagon where Anne previously worked as Marketing Manager, to offer the service. Audio Described performances offer a live verbal commentary via a headset, explaining the visual elements of a production as they unfold. Before the performance, Anne delivers an introductory description and often a full touch tour of the set.

At the celebration, Anne read from a press release when Minds Eye was first launched. She said: "Imagine you're at the theatre and you can't see. You have no idea what the set or costume look like, but you're following the plot fairly well and you've worked out who's who. Then there's a few moments without dialogue. You can hear noises but they mean nothing to you. Suddenly everyone around you erupts into loud laughter. The person you're with leans over and whispers a few words of explanation but you can't hear them properly; it doesn't seem funny anymore anyway, and you feel awkward at the whispered conversation..."

Mind's Eye 25th Birthday celebration at Bolton Octagon. Photograph by Rachael Norris.
Mind's Eye 25th Birthday celebration at Bolton Octagon. Photograph by Rachael Norris.

Anne is a joy to work with and, to celebrate this significant milestone, we've dedicated a seat to her in the Everyman auditorium. Here's to the next 25 years!

To find out more about Audio Description at the Everyman & Playhouse, please email [email protected].

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