NAPA’s Visually Impaired Group take to the stage

Published: Friday 15th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Hull’s year as the UK City of Culture is an opportunity to showcase work from all social groups and walks of life.

It is with this in mind that NAPA (the Northern Academy of Performing Arts) has created a show entirely written and performed by its Visually Impaired Group.

Based on ideas gathered through workshops and supported by Hull 2017, Do You See What I Mean? combines music, song, drama, projections and comedy in an artistic revue, organised and directed by Barrie Wheatley.

“This is the perfect time to demonstrate to the world what visually impaired people in Hull can create,” Barrie tell us. “The show has been devised to offer a totally different view of sight loss, providing food for thought as part of a very enjoyable event.”

Barrie has worked with visually impaired performers at NAPA for some time, helping individuals to learn and develop a range of writing and theatrical skills. The show aims to offer information into the condition and challenge stereotypes in modern day society.

With a cast of 17, including four helpers who are experienced performers, it’s all set to be a clever and energetic experience for all. Included in the cast is a refugee who has lived in Hull for three years, plus Queenie the guide dog, who travels from Bridlington especially for the show.

“One of the sets takes the form of an impressive dance routine using long white canes,” adds Barrie. “This was conceived with the help of expert choreographer Jon Beney, who has worked on numerous dance projects this year, including Assemble Fest and productions at Hull Truck Theatre.”

Do You See What I Mean? will be performed four times later this month: Saturday 23rd at 7:30pm at NAPA, Sunday 24th at 2pm at NAPA, Wednesday 27th at 2pm at Hull Minster, and Friday 29th at 2pm at NAPA.

“We can’t especially wait to perform in Hull Minster,” says Barbara Dawson, CEO of NAPA. “It’s a beautiful, historic and culturally crucial building that welcomes everyone, and this show works perfectly with its celebration of openness and accessibility.”

Prior to the Friday show ay NAPA there will be representatives from HERIB, Guide Dogs, Hull City Council’s Sensory Team and Hull College offering information, advice and opportunities for visually impaired people and their families.

“Through drama, music, dance and song, we break down barriers to artistic development,” adds Barbara. “This is entertainment at its most stimulating and makes for a truly inspiring show.”

Do You See What I Mean? takes the form of two 40-minute acts with an interval in-between. The first three performances are priced at just £5 a ticket. Entry to the final performance works on a donation basis and people can pay what they decide, with funds going to the local branch of HERIB.

Tickets can be booked via Hull Box Office on 01482 221113, or you can book online.

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Published: Friday 15th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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