Mercury Theatre to Host World’s First Exhibition on Theatre Captioning from Deaf-Led Charity Stagetext


Mercury Theatre, led by Executive Director Steve Mannix, Executive Producer Tracey Childs and Creative Director Ryan McBryde, is to host the world’s first exhibition on open captioning in the arts from 3 to 29 September. Created by Stagetext, the deaf-led captioning charity, Captions Speak Louder guides audiences through the history of theatre captioning and will be on display at Mercury Theatre as it embarks on a UK tour following its debut at the Barbican Centre in November 2021.

Liz Hilder, Stagetext’s Acting Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to be working with The Mercury Theatre to share the story of captioning. Come along and find out how captions began, and how they continue to open up access to theatre and culture today.”

Steve Mannix, Executive Director added: “We’re really proud to be hosting this exciting exhibition to tie-in with kickstarting our Autumn season of events. At the Mercury, we firmly believe in the arts being accessible for all and this will be a great opportunity for our audiences to learn more about captioning and accessibility within the arts.”

The exhibition shows how captions were brought to the UK following a captioned American tour of Anthony and Cleopatra in 1999, and spread to venues across the country. Following how Stagetext was founded as a charity by Peter Pullan, Merfyn Willliams and Geoff Brown, the exhibition charts the evolution and art of captioning. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, access to digital events brought culture to living rooms and increased visibility of accessibility worldwide.

The free exhibition explores this history through the stories and memories of the users, the charity’s founders, and the staff and supporters who worked to make the arts accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people over the last 21 years.

The CAPTIONS SPEAK LOUDER exhibition runs at the Mercury Theatre from Sat 3 – Thu 29 Sep. 

You can visit the online section of the exhibition and see the other tour locations at

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