Cinderella shall go to the ball with captions available to all

In the month of Caption Awareness Week 2020, we are delighted to announce that its online streaming of Cinderella next month will be available with closed captions for those who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing, or anyone who would like to read (or sing!) along with the action.

Earlier this month the Mercury Theatre announced that it will be streaming its record-breaking pantomime Cinderella for audiences to celebrate at home, in schools, in hospitals and care facilities this Christmas, while providing a valuable lifeline for the show’s cast and crew.

Steve Mannix, Executive Director at the Mercury, said; “We pride ourselves on being as inclusive and accessible to all. Our refurbished theatre re-opening in spring 2021 has been completely re-designed to be fully accessible, both on and off stage so it’s vital that we apply that principle to our online offering too.”

“We are delighted that all of the traditions, comic capers, gags and ad-lib’s that make our panto famous will be available to all for the first time online. When we present a captioned show at the theatre, the moments of comic madness and improvised segments can sometimes be lost when we use the pre-programmed script. We are delighted to be partnering with Stage Text and the Royal Association for Deaf People on this project.”

Melanie Sharpe, Stagetext Chief Executive, said: “Christmas, theatre and the panto always go hand in hand. It’s magical time, a chance for all the family to get together for a very British tradition and one where no one should be excluded.”

“We’re so excited that The Mercury Theatre’s production of Cinderella will be made available online with captions. One in six of us in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing, and that includes over 50,000 children, by adding captions it means that everyone in the family can enjoy this yearly tradition together. Booo the Baddie, singing along to the songs and giggle at the Dame, all from the comfort of the sofa until we can meet again next year in the auditorium.”

Filmed over Christmas 2019 in front of a live family audience of over 800 people, the Mercury promises that this fun-filled magical show, that smashed all previous Mercury box office records, has just what it takes to put a smile on everyone’s face this December.

The pantomime, written by Andrew Pollard and directed by Mercury Creative Director Ryan McBryde, is the ultimate rags-to-riches tale Cinderella, featuring a talented line up including the 2020 Pantomime Award winning ugly sisters, and Colchester panto favourites, Antony Stuart-Hicks and Dale Superville, alongside spritely Fairy Godmother Deborah Tracey.

All of the proceeds from the ticket sales to view Cinderella online will be split equally between the theatre and all of the freelancers whose work is visible on the stage, and those who worked behind the scenes, to bring this magical show to life. Over 40 individuals, including actors, musicians, stage management, dressers and backstage crew will share 50% of the income from the streaming.

Tracey Childs, Executive Producer at the Mercury Theatre said:
“This is a small lifeline to the incredibly talented freelance team of cast, crew and creatives who worked tirelessly to create this magical production. Freelancers have really suffered throughout the pandemic and we cannot survive without them!”

“Freelancers are vital to the theatre industry and make up about 70% of creating our productions. Particularly when we work together for a length of time on a show like Cinderella, these artists and experts become part of the Mercury family and are essential to our lifeblood and cultural future.”

“We are thankful that our organisation is enriched by our collaborations with the freelance community. Without freelancers Cinderella would be a vastly different show and we want to be able to welcome these talents and skillsets back to our theatre in the future. We are incredibly grateful to our audiences for supporting us and we hope that this performance by our fabulous cast and crew will add a touch of magic to everyone’s Christmas.”

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