“In collaboration with voice artiste and experienced audio describer Willie Elliott, StopGAP are leading the field in audio described contemporary dance. 

Stopgap Dance Theatre

“Just quietly, not only is Willie Elliott a world renowned audio describer, he is also one of the loveliest people on the planet.“

Adelaide International Festival

“For me, I’ve been blind all my life, so over fifty odd years. This is a new experience for me and it’s bringing a whole new world of... happiness, really. It makes me want to go out and go to more theatre and productions, more.”

Audience member. Adelaide Festival.

“As someone who has a relatively mild vision impairment and who works in dance, I did wonder wether I would find the audio description complimentary, or distracting. But it really enhanced my experience of the show. And I did try turning it off just to see what it was like without it for a little while and I missed it...  immensely.”

Audience member. Adelaide Festival.

“This was Mrs. O'Rielly's second time attending an opera (her first was Madama Butterfly when she was 14 and she is now 85). She said yesterday evening was the best night of her life and said both Willie and Margaret led her on a wonderful journey throughout the opera!”

Opera North.

“What did really make it for me, as a piece of theatre, though, was William Elliot’s audio-description. What a dream come true for any audio-describer, to have a dialogue-free theatre piece to play with! Elliott took up the challenge. And in his gentle dulcet tones he guided his audience by headset, through the movement, with a joyful, subtle and effective interpretation. I have a mental condition that makes concentration extremely difficult due to an accumulation of intrusive thoughts. And so the audio-description helps focus and became a vehicle to allow a deeper appreciation of what was overall a satisfying and enjoyable piece of theatre.”

Review of ‘Blind Man’s Song’ produced by Theatre Re.

“...it really added to my experience of the show. I was surprised how much more I was able to relax into to visuals because of the guide in my ear. He really did capture the delicacy of some moments exquisitely”.

Audience member. ‘Blind Man’s Song’.

Willie started his Audio Describer career with Graeae Theatre and has described numerous productions for us.

He created a whole new landscape of doing outdoor work, circus and physical theatre which is theatrically in keeping with the production but never compromising on the access for Blind and visually impaired audiences.

Willie led Graeae's first ever training programme with Alex Bulmer for emerging audio describers. It was challenging, thorough, playful and open. 

He is an excellent trainer, full of wisdom and reflection of his own journey, the mistakes and the triumphs ( not least doing London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony),  He allows people to find their natural voice and writing skill, then he hones their understanding and delivery.

If you want to know anything about audio description - you go to Willie Ellliott.

Jenny Sealey. Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre Company.

In 2011, I attended an audio description training course with Willie Elliott in Adelaide, Australia. 

Willie’s rigorous, nuanced and fascinating training not only equipped me with the skills to commence working as a describer but also instilled in me a passion for equity in arts practice which has informed my career ever since.

Willie was instrumental in training a cohort of audio describers in Adelaide, which in turn enabled us to establish Australia’s first, professional audio description service for the performing arts. His return visit to Adelaide in 2012 allowed the pool of local describers to grow and for those of us who trained in 2011 to enhance our descriptive skills.

Since 2011, I have appreciated Willie’s ongoing support, encouragement and advice and have benefited enormously from his generosity, as well as his unique ability to deliver feedback and advice which is both frank and friendly.

Lara Torr.  Manager, Community programmes. South Australian Museum.

© William Elliott 2018