Death by Fatal Murder at the Wolverhampton Grand on the evening of Saturday 9 July 2011
Peter Gordon’s Death by Fatal Murder is the sequel to Murdered by Death (audio-described last summer at the Grand) and sees the bumbling Inspector Pratt (played by former Eastenders’, Leslie Grantham) return to Bagshott House where all the clues lead to more murderous comedy chaos. I was amazed to find that a year had elapsed since the Wolverhampton Grand’s Access Officer, Janine Grahame, and Audio-describer, Pat Hayes, had last taken visually impaired patrons and their companions for a close up look at the set of this 1940’s country mansion with its traditional furniture, paintings and ornaments.
Following this informative touch tour scheduled an hour before the matinee on Saturday 9 July, we VIPs collected their headsets from the front desk, in return for a £2 deposit, before taking our seats in good time to tune into the ‘live’ pre-show notes giving us details of the cast, characters and their costumes, as well as a reminder of the set itself – particularly helpful for those unable to make it to the 1.30 pm stage visit. I’m pleased to say that there was a good number of VIPs taking advantage of the audio-description experience and at the Wolverhampton Grand there is always the added bonus that seats in the first few front rows of the Stalls are put aside for anyone wanting to book this type of assisted performance.
Although the story was easy to follow from the actual onstage dialogue I, for one, certainly got so much more pleasure from the production thanks to Pat’s helpful, well timed ‘live’ commentary, ensuring that we missed none of the many comic moments.
The next audio described performance at the Wolverhampton Grand will be the Wilkie Collin’ classic ‘The Woman In White’ on the afternoon of Saturday 23 July 2011 and details of how to book tickets, places on the touch tour, and head sets, can be obtained by ringing the box office on 01902 429212.