Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Canberra theatre captions Shakespearean show

A Shakespearean production in Canberra is to be captioned for people with hearing impairments, in what is thought to be a first for Australian theatre.

The Canberra theatre will use two screens on either side of the stage to caption this Saturday's matinee performance of the Bell Shakespeare Company's The Wars of the Roses.

The theatre plans to caption one session of each of this season's performances.

Markia Hetenyi from Better Hearing Australia says captioning can benefit people with even slight hearing difficulties.

"A lot of people who have an acquired hearing loss don't realise for many, many years after the hearing has started to deteriorate, so there will be people in the audience on Saturday who don't realise that they've missed a lot of what has been said until they look at the screen and they say, 'oh i didn't realise that there was that line first'," she said.

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