Captioning Awareness Week – 11 Questions with Caption Hero Miranda Yates

Here at the Young Vic this week, we’re celebrating Captioning Awareness Week, spreading the word about captioned performances to the 1 in 6 people in the UK who are currently deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.

Enter, Miranda Yates, who has long been captioning the Young Vic’s productions and also happens to be our Caption Hero (I mean, how could she not be?!). Whether you’re a captioning regular or you didn’t know the word existed, we hope Miranda’s 11 questions will give you a little insight into accessible theatre…

1. Can you describe your job in three words?

Self-contained, persnickety, silent

2. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

Trying to be calm – finishing off a takeaway coffee!

3. What was it that first got you interested in captioning and access?

A long time back now  whilst working at the Almeida Theatre (I still am!) I was inspired by the work of Graeae Theatre Company to look at ways of extending access for Deaf and disabled audiences. This led to setting up a regular programme which included captioned and audio described performances. Later following a successful funding application we trained with Stagetext to caption in house and I became a captioner.

4. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened at captioned performance?

I did a show recently in the West End where the lead character because of illness swapped to their understudy half way through the show – that was a surprise!

5. Have the actors ever gone off script or tried to test you?

At this very venue not so long ago in the Life of Galileo – not naming names – but they’re definitely regretting not being on my Christmas card list this year – ha ha!

6. What is your favourite play you’ve seen, read or worked on?

Passion at the Donmar Warehouse – I didn’t caption it but worked on the audio description for it. Sondheim all the way – genius!

7. What’s your favourite thing about being part of the wonderful world of theatre captioning?

It’s great to do a job that reduces the barriers that D/deaf and disabled people face and promotes access to the magical world that theatre is.

8. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you could meet them?

Joni Mitchell – unlike the Caption Hero I’d be a bit lost for words if I ever go that opportunity!

9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Think less – do more! (I don’t always manage it!)

10. What would you say to someone who had never been to a captioned performance but secretly wanted to?

Just go – what’s to lose?!

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before.

I think I accidentally cooked a hamster once – the cage was outside and it was a hot day! When I went to check the hamster had gone quite stiff – we buried it in our back garden … #BadPetOwner

Find out more about Captioning Awareness Week and Stagetext‘s work. See our upcoming accessible performance schedule on our Access for All page.

The Jungle Safe Space performance

Last year we introduced our first set of inclusive performances.  These included a Safe Space performance for those who have experienced mental health problems, a dementia friendly performance and a ‘babes in arms’ performance.  All of these were highly successful and rewarding.

We are pleased to offer a new inclusive performance.  Like the previous events, it is open to all audience members and has been created in partnership with the show’s creative and technical teams.

The Young Vic Safe Space performance of The Jungle particularly welcomes people who have experienced trauma, along with their families, friends, carers, as well as anyone who feels this relaxed atmosphere would be beneficial to them. It will be on 3 January at 2.30pm.

Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, the co-founders of Good Chance Theatre, originally conceived their dome in Calais as a place for people to share their highly traumatic experience and to escape or, if they chose to, to confront the situations they found themselves in. The Jungle Safe Space performance is a continuation of this vision and has been developed through conversations with In Place of War and Freedom from Torture.

There will be a dedicated ‘break-out’ room outside of the auditorium available throughout. During the performance, it will be possible to come and go as you wish. For example, it might be helpful to take some time out to relax in the ‘break-out’ room or bar, use the bathroom or get some fresh air outside.

There are a selection of tickets available to buy online but if you require something more specific or want to talk through your seating options, just contact the Welcome Team via email or give them a call 020 7922 2922.

For the past thirteen years, In Place of War has worked with creative communities in some of the most challenging contexts in the world. In Place of War is a support system for community artistic, creative and cultural organisations in places of conflict, revolution and areas suffering the consequences of conflict. Find out more about their work.

Freedom from Torture provides counselling, group therapy and ongoing support for survivors of torture in the UK, tailoring the support they offer to suit each person. Read about their projects, campaigns and fundraising work.

For a full list of all our upcoming accessible performances, visit our Access for All page.  If you’re coming to see a show and have specific access requirements, please contact us in advance so that we can make your visit as enjoyable as possible. For more information please call us on 020 7922 2922 (Textphone 18001 020 7922 2922).

❄️ Winter is coming | 2018 Genesis Future Directors Award Winner

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It is with great pride that we announce today the recipient of the 2018 Genesis Future Directors Award is John R. Wilkinson. He will direct Winter by Jon Fosse (14 – 24 February 2018). Tickets are now on sale! 

We are thrilled that all performances of Winter will be audio described; visit our access for all page for more information.

by Jon Fosse
Direction John R. Wilkinson

An ordinary businessman meets a volatile stranger in a park. So begins a fugue of splintered desires and mistaken meanings.

An everyday encounter unspools with enduring consequences.

Genesis Award winner John R. Wilkinson directs this riveting and hypnotic play.

When performed at the Young Vic in 2011, Jon Fosse’s I am the Wind was described in the Independent as “Some of the greatest theatre I have ever witnessed”.

For more info and to book tickets:

John R. Wilkinson made his directorial debut in 2013 with Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down (York Theatre Royal).  Dramaturgical credits include: You Have Been Watching (Dark Horse) and To Kill a Mockingbird (York Theatre Royal). He is Associate Artist at York Theatre Royal, being mentored by Third Angel. In 2016 he was co-assistant director to Rufus Norris during a four-day intensive workshop and worked as a Connections Director (National Theatre). He trained at Bretton Hall College.

Established in 2012, the Genesis Future Directors Award was created to nurture emerging directors by providing them with an opportunity to explore and develop their craft while creating their first fully resourced production at the Young Vic, recognised for its engagement with young directors. The Award will provide John R. Wilkinson with mentoring and support from the theatre’s unique creative network, which includes Artistic Director David Lan, Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan, Lead Producer Daisy Heath and Associate Artistic Director Sue Emmas.

Taking Part at the Young Vic | Summer – Autumn 2015

Summer-Autumn 2015 has been an exciting time for our Taking Part team. Two shows featured at different festivals; Now Is The Time To Say Nothing at the Edinburgh Forest Fringe Festival and The Brolly Project performed at Latitude Festival. We also continued to create numerous responses to main stage shows and hold free workshops for schools, young people and our local community.

Elizabeth and Ricardo in The Brolly Project. Photo by Helen Murray.

Elizabeth and Ricardo in The Brolly Project. Photo by Helen Murray.

The Brolly Project – directed by Mimi Poskitt, written by Molly Taylor and the company

The Brolly Project was created with people who had worked in the sex industry in response to the portrayal of prostitutes in Measure for Measure, about their experiences both of the sex industry and of the wider world. We took an early version of the show to Latitude Festival on the 18 July and performed the full show at the Young Vic on the 20, 21 and 22 August.

We had an incredible response from audiences and it was a profound experience for all involved. There’s more feedback in our Storify.

Reem in glass low res

Now Is The Time To Say Nothing


Now Is The Time To Say Nothing – directed by Caroline Williams

This show returned to Young Vic from the 14-18 July, as part of the Shubbak Festival. For the first time, a Taking Part show was reviewed by the national press. Lyn Gardner at the Guardian described the show as;

“simple but cunningly constructed and heartfelt piece that acknowledges the complexities of what is happening in Syria, reminds how sitting in the dark watching a screen only distances us, and actively tries to bring us together to reach out to the real people, just like us, whose lives are blighted by war.”

We then took it to Edinburgh, as part of Forest Fringe, from the 24 – 31 August. The responses from the audience were very powerful, and it was a great opportunity to reach a wider audience.

TP m4m workshop

Into Measure for Measure workshop. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Community responses, workshops and productions.

In response to Joe Hill-Gibbons’ Measure for Measure we had young people from local pupil referral units working with director, Jane Fallowfield to form Measure It, based on love and power. Also in October, participants from our Two Boroughs took part in a week long series of workshops called Inside Measure for Measure where they had the chance to explore staging Shakespeare through different techniques, and had the opportunity to rehearse on stage as well as get an insight into the technical aspects, helping to reproduce the lighting, sound and video for the show.

Our response to La Musica, Room 504 was performed in November to small groups of local audiences. You can find out more about Room 504 from the director Anna Girvan and designer Emma Tompkins in our blog post.

In early November four volunteers, Sharon, Lily, Gbolahan & Elayce travelled to the Good Chance Theatre in Calais and held workshops for the refugees and migrants currently living there. They described the public space as a beacon of hope and dignity amongst a hideous and extra-ordinary situation. We’ll continue supporting the Good Chance Theatre over the next few months and our projects with local young people and young refugees continue with our parallel production of Macbeth.

Our next group of workshops in schools for both pupils and teachers will be announced soon and following our Cut Cart story collecting day, it will be back with a community-sourced sharing in April 2016.

You can find out more about our Taking Part projects on our website and if you’d like to find out how you can support our work with young people and our local community take a look at Support Us.