Extant produced the first ever use of audio description and simultaneous language translation in a premier UK tour of Croatia’s New Life Theatre, in their production Zeros and Nils by D.I Harms.
In 2002 Extant produced the premiere UK tour of New Life from Croatia, a theatrical company of visually impaired actors, who came to the UK with their production of Zeros And Nils by D.I. Harms
In October 2001 the 2nd international Blind In Theatre (BIT) Festival was organised and hosted in Zagreb Croatia by New Life Theatre Company a visually impaired company who have been in existence in Zagreb for over fifty years. Nine theatre companies from seven different countries attended the festival, which meant it had doubled in size since the first festival that New Life originated two years before in 1999.
When Extant attended both the 1999 and 2001 international Blind In Theatre Festivals hosted by New Life in Zagreb Croatia, we found that by far, their production of ‘Zeros And Nils’ was the most challenging and physical piece of theatre by a company of visually impaired actors that up until then had ever been staged.
While in Croatia Extant decided it should offer an opportunity for Britain to reciprocate the hosting of New Life Theatre Company in England. By us platforming their work in this country, we would provide a valuable opportunity for British mainstream and disability arts to experience the quality and strength of how visually impaired theatre practitioners can work together.
Extant in association with turtle Key Arts, Vocaleyes and the Croatian Embassy in London toured New Life in England in their production of Zeros And Nils during the winter of 2002.
For the first time ever, in this country and abroad, we supported a foreign language production, with a simultaneous audio language and audio description facility. Usually only blind audiences have an experience of the technical support of audio description within theatres, which provides descriptions of visual action, sets and characters on stage. However, by broadening this service to include language translation too, which most of the audience needed for this production, we aimed to transform essential access needs into a unique shared experience between the blind and sighted audience, made available to all audience members via headsets.