In Red Earth Theatre shows, actors perform in both sign language and English.

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On stage, Red Earth works in two languages: Sign Language and English.

We also aim to caption and audio describe all of our performances. So, we pledge to take all-singing, all-dancing access to every part of the country – from the biggest venues, to the smallest outposts - to wherever you are.

Sign language integration


Audio descriptions

Sign integration

In Red Earth Theatre shows, actors perform in both sign language and English.

There are lots of different ways they do this so that hearing and Deaf audiences can understand and enjoy a performance together without anyone feeling left out.

British Sign Language (BSL) is the preferred language of many Deaf people. Our approach is to use a mixture of sign languages and techniques, including BSL, Sign Supported English (SSE) and Visual Vernacular (VV). Through this method of Total Communication, we can reach audiences with a broad range of communication needs: Deaf, hearing, hard of hearing, learning disabled, people whose home language is not English and so on.

Regardless of their access needs, children find integrated theatre vibrant, dynamic and beguiling. They love it. For hearing audiences, the experience of simultaneous sign language and English is rich. The effect can seem like an extension of acting technique that is pleasing both to the eye and the ear.


Our shows include projected captions, graphics and visuals to enhance access for children and adults with different communication needs, including those who are hard of hearing and not sign language users.

The captions are part of the overall design concept. They are projected on to designated areas of the set and they use a range of fonts, colours and sizes to help differentiate characters’ dialogue. This helps deafened and hard of hearing audiences as well as those with different communication needs.

Red Earth Theatre is grateful to have received funding from the Boshier-Hinton Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Earnest Cook Trust to enable us to carry out research into providing Creative Captioning for children and their families for all touring theatre product.

We asked Deaf and hearing children and adults what they thought about captioning. Most children said that they chose to access the scenes in the way they felt most comfortable. The majority of younger Deaf children preferred BSL integration to captions. The teenage Deaf audience preferred full captions. The adult BSL users preferred the BSL translation but also found full captioning helpful. Offering both integrated sign and captions enhances access for our audiences.

Audio description

We’re now working on affordable ways to offer Audio Description for all our performances, so that Blind and partially sighted children and adults can better access our shows.