Mamma Mia – a caption user’s perspective

Captioned performance of Mama Mia at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham from Simon Astill

I’m a big fan of musical theatre, running two Community Signing Choirs and previously run a Deaf Drama Group that converted into another Signing Choir, with Mama Mia I had really high expectations because prior going to the show, all my hearing friends had been raving about it for different reasons.

I spoke to the accessibility person at the Theatre Royal (who also is a member of Scene and Sound’s management team) as I have my preferred seating in the dress Circle in the theatre and wanted something similar at the Royal Concert Hall which is situated next door to the Theatre Royal and she provided me with a recommendation which would be similar to my preferred seating at the Theatre Royal and I was not disappointed. I prefer to either look down or have the captions at high level and at an angle to the stage to enable me to see most of the action and read the captions at the same time.

It was a very fast paced show and the captioner did very well to keep up with the show, I was able to read the captions and then lipread the person who was speaking to check and they were very much in time and this enabled me to sing along to the better known songs of Mama Mia which I really enjoyed doing.

The set was very simple but very efficient and the cast looked like they were really enjoying their performance and the whole show was a real pleasure to watch, I came away wanting more which is always a good thing for a person who loves musical theatre.

I would definitely look into other musical theatre shows being put on with either captions or interpreted performances at the Theatre Royal/Royal Concert Hall from the West End in future, One I am really excited about seeing would definitely be the Lion King. It is a story I know off by heart and being a big fan of Disney Musicals too, I live in hope.

If you do like going to musicals, I can definitely recommend you try and catch either the BSL Performance or the Captioned Performance of Mama Mia when it comes your way, I promise you, you will be Thanking them for the Music!!!

Check out the events page if musicals are your thing!