Accessible Isolation: A guide to BSL and captioned content for families

While the country is on lockdown, we’ve been keeping track of all the family friendly digital theatre and other creative ideas for entertaining the kids. We are aware that a lot of this content is not currently hearing accessible and that it can be frustrating trying to find something that the family can watch together. In this guide we have tried to pull together the content which includes captions or a BSL interpreter. It’s a work in progress, so please do get in touch if you have any suggestions for things we can add to the list.

Digital Theatre and Storytelling

Arthur’s Dream Boat (Long Nose Puppets): Suitable for ages 2-8

Arthur’s Dream Boat (a puppet show based on the popular Polly Dunbar book) was due to play at Z-Arts, Manchester this weekend. Since that couldn’t happen, they’ve made it available online instead, together with plenty of related crafts and educational activities.

Accessibility: There is a full transcript of this recording available.

I want my Hat Back (Little Angel Theatre): Suitable for ages 3-6

Little Angel Theatre has teamed up with theatre director Ian Nicholson to stream a specially designed adaptation of Jon Klassen’s picture book I Want My Hat Back. It was streamed free on Little Angel Theatre’s YouTube channel on Easter Monday. (This is our absolute favourite picture book in the entire world so we were very excited about this one and it didn’t disappoint!)

*ACCESSIBILITY* The video has closed captions.

*TIME LIMIT*  The recording will remain online until 7 June.

A Tiger’s Tale (M6 Theatre Company): Suitable for ages 4-11

On Friday 8 May, M6 Theatre Company released a recording of A Tiger’s Tale, a high spirited balancing act of circus, puppetry, music and song based on the extraordinary story of Fenella, the Holmfirth Tiger (inspired by the book Tiger on a String by Kassie Overend). There will be a home resource pack available to download too.

*TIME LIMIT* The recording will be available for 2 weeks (from Friday 8 to Sunday 24 May )

*ACCESSIBILITY* The recording includes optional subtitles.

Trailer: A Tiger’s Tale

Gulp (The Bone Ensemble): Suitable for ages 7+

The Bone Ensemble’s tour of GULP! has unfortunately been cut short by the coronavirus crisis but they have released an online recording. It’s an educational show with a water conservation message and there are plenty of supplementary educational resources available here – Perfect for those looking to do some stagey homeschooling!

*ACCESSIBILITY* This production has no spoken word and is described as accessible to d/Deaf, hearing and non-English speaking audiences

Gulp! by The Bone Ensemble

I wish I was a Mountain (A co-production from The Egg, Bath and Travelling Light Theatre Company): Suitable for ages 7+

Another one from The Egg, Bath. This time for slightly older children. I wish I was a Mountain is an award winning production written and performed by former Glastonbury Poetry Slam Champion Toby Thompson. Watch it here.

*ACCESSIBILITY* The video includes closed captions.

Trailer: I wish I was a Mountain

The Midnight Gang (Chichester Festival Theatre): Suitable for ages 7+

On Thursday 30 April Chichester Festival Theatre released a recording of their musical adaptation of David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang. An inventive tale of fun, friendship and the importance of kindness, the recording is accompanied by an education pack (which was originally designed for use in schools but is recommended for families at home).

*TIME LIMIT* The show will be available online for 30 days (until 29 May)

*ACCESSIBILITY* This recording will be captioned for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences, and Polish-language captions will also be available. An audio introduction will help set the scene for blind and partially sighted audiences.

The Midnight Gang Trailer

Beauty and the Beast (Chichester Festival Theatre): Suitable for ages 7+

From 21 May, revisit Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s 2017 production of Beauty and the Beast. The recording is free to watch although donations can be made on the theatre’s website.

*TIME LIMIT* The show will be available online for 30 days (until 19 June)

*ACCESSIBILITY* This recording will be captioned for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences, and Polish-language captions will also be available. An audio introduction will help set the scene for blind and partially sighted audiences.

Beauty and the Beast Trailer

Creative Distance Online Festival (Looping The Loop CIC (originally with What’s Coming Out Of The Box) and in collaboration with Inspiration Creative CIC): Suitable for all ages

Creative Distance is a brand new digital festival of live streamed and digitally accessible theatre and live performance, from the artistic community of Thanet and beyond. It includes classes, storytelling, singalong sessions and much more. Check out their website for the latest schedule and catch up on what you’ve missed by subscribing to their YouTube Channel.

*ACCESSIBILITY* There are lots of BSL-signed sessions including nursery rhymes, storytime and singalong sessions. The YouTube videos also include auto-generated captions.

BSL signed Sing-a-long with Inspiration Creative

Creative Activities for Kids

Anna and Arji’s Broom Cupboard: Suitable for all primary school children

A Line Art specialise in immersive theatre performances and art events for children, young people and their families. With theatres closed, they have brought the artistic action online in their new show, Anna and Arji’s Broom Cupboard. Check out the first episode below and make sure you subscribe to Anna’s YouTube Channel to keep up to date on what’s going on in the broom cupboard.

*ACCESSIBILITY* There are closed captions on the episode below (How to Make a SuperHero Mask) and Anna and Arji are planning on adding captioning to the rest of their content soon.

BIG UP! at Home: Suitable for ages 4+

BIG UP! is an interactive show for young people featuring puppetry, beatboxing, singing and absolutely no rules! Created by Theatre Rites and 20 Stories High in 2019, it was developed through research with young adult parents, young carers and their children from working class and culturally diverse backgrounds. With the show’s 2020 tour now on hiatus, they have instead created a YouTube Channel with lots of fun activities inspired by the show, including several beatboxing tutorials.

*ACCESSIBILITY* The YouTube video includes auto-generated captions.*ACCESSIBILITY* The videos include closed captions.

Little Angel Theatre At Home Resources: Suitable for ages 0-11

Puppetry specialists Little Angel Theatre have introduced a range of home resources on their YouTube Channel to bring the magic of puppetry into the home. It’s filled with craft ideas and video stories, including a guide to making your own puppet show.

*ACCESSIBILITY* The YouTube videos includes auto-generated captions.