Audio Describer

Furthering audio description in the South West

Creating tailored visual impairment access services for your event or performance.

Charlotte Whitten Audio Describer working in Bristol and the South West.
Charlotte Whitten Audio Description Bristol
About Charlotte

Trained Audio Describer

I trained in 2021 with Roz Chalmers from The National Theatre audio description team on a training programme supported by Arts Council England for Theatre Royal Bath.

I was then awarded a Developing Your Creative Practice grant to undertake the project Furthering Audio Description in Theatre in the South West, supported using public funding from Arts Council England.

I have since worked in theatres and directly with production companies to increase their audio described offering to visually impaired audiences and advise on the accessibility of their work.

I have worked with Proteus Theatre, Sound UK, Raucous Theatre, Dragonbird Theatre, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, The Wardrobe Theatre and Tobacco Factory Theatres.

Having previously worked in television production, theatre production and performance, I have a speciality in children’s theatre and am particularly interested in opening up family and young people’s theatre to visually impaired audiences.



I have worked alongside some of the major theatres and venues in the South West.

"I am so delighted that Charlotte has shone a light on the lack of audio description in the South West and taken such positive steps to rectify it. By doing so she has begun a process that allows an equality of access for blind and partially blind people to cultural events that has long been missing. I hope now that theatres, museums, galleries and heritage sites will examine their offer and seek advice about how to improve the opportunities for all their audience to engage. Fuelled by Charlotte's energy and experience, a real change begins."
Roz Chalmers
Audio Description Specialist
“Charlotte is a joy to work with. Easy and clear communication to set up the project, Charlotte asked all the right questions to make sure the work was in alignment on all levels. Charlotte really knows her stuff, is thorough with her research and the end result is really professional. Thank you, Charlotte! ”
Lotte Nørgaard
Dragonbird Theatre
"Working with Charlotte on a touch tour for the Snow Queen was a joy. Her communication and organisation in the planning process were proven in what was a fantastically executed touch tour. She was clear about what she wanted and how the tour was to be run, whilst being very sensitive to the needs of the show’s normal day to day activities."
Dean Sudron
New International Encounter
“Charlotte was excellent at proactively engaging in discussion to scope out the project, provide advice on best methods of approach, and share insight into the requirements of a visually impaired audience. I can say that Charlotte is professional, flexible and incredibly considered in her approach. I hope to be able to work with her again on similar projects in the future.”
Steven Bradley
Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery
“As visually impaired customers with extensive experience of receiving audio described content, we have found Charlotte to be an excellent audio describer. She is enthusiastic, has a professional attitude and approach, displays energy, and delivers content in a clear, easily understandable manner. Each show has come across as very professional and added significantly to our enjoyment of the performance. If we were asked to suggest someone who would deliver audio description to a high standard, we would have no hesitation in recommending her.”
Steve Ewens & Jenny Hodges
Audio description users
"I started working with Charlotte to help set up our Audio Described shows. She has been an enormous help and we have learnt a lot from her. Her knowledge of the industry combined with her Audio Described work has made a once daunting exercise an easy process. Her professionalism and thoroughness have meant that we will continue to learn and improve our systems. She is also lovely and easy to work with, so we will be sure to work with her in the future!"
Katy Wilkes
Tobacco Factory Theatres
“We worked with Charlotte to create an audio introduction and touch tour for a live music project by an eight-piece band. She helped us to understand the needs of visually impaired people, worked with us to create introductory notes ahead of the performance, and, together with the musical director, led a pre-concert touch talk. Charlotte was extremely helpful and professional throughout and a real pleasure to work with. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough."
Polly Eldridge
Sound UK
"It was a real pleasure to work with Charlotte on the design of the Accessibility/Audio Description survey. Charlotte is committed to accessibility in general and Audio Description in particular. She is an excellent listener with a great sense of humour. I felt a valued colleague whose views were taken into account. I look forward to working with Charlotte again in the future."
Yusuf Osman
Visual Impairment Consultant


How audio description can help

My Work

I work directly with venues and production companies to augment their audio described offering and make their performances accessible to visually impaired audiences. Clips of audio introductions and fully embedded audio description tracks into video can be heard in the following examples of previous work.

Charlie's Wardrobe

Dragonbird Theatre (Dec 2022) – Adding audio description to the pre-recorded show and interactive workshop for the early years play, Charlie’s Wardrobe, as part of their accessible offering on Dragonbird at Home.

The Owl & The Pussycat

Dragonbird Theatre (Dec 2022) – Scripting, recording and embedding audio description into the early years play, The Owl and The Pussycat, and its accompanying workshop as part of the online film service Dragonbird at Home.

Other Work

The Bloody Chamber, Proteus Theatre (May 2022) – Delivery of the audio through description, Norwich Playhouse.

The Canticle of the Sun, Arun Ghosh for Sound UK (June 2022) – Scripting and delivery of audio introductory notes; planning and delivery of touch talk and handling session, St George’s Concert Hall.

Revealed, Tobacco Factory Theatre (October 2022) – Scripting and delivery of audio introductory notes and through description, TFT.

The Lantern Room, Raucous Theatre (November 2022) – AD access audit for the R&D phase of The Lantern Room, Watershed.

Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery (November 2022) – AD audit and initial preparation for the future delivery of film installations with AD.

Puppets Do A Movie, The Wardrobe Theatre (January 2023) – Visual impairment access audit for the venue; advising on an audio description strategy; Planning, scripting and delivery of audio introductory notes and a touch tour.

The Snow Queen, New International Encounter for Tobacco Factory Theatres (January 2023) – Scripting and delivery of audio introductory notes and through description. Planning and leading the touch tour.

Audio Files

Understanding Audio Description

What is Audio Description?

Audio description is a narration describing anything a creator has chosen to depict through the visual medium alone.

In theatre, that is a script describing the visual aspects of the performance and includes the appearance of the actors, the costumes and the set, scene changes, choreography, body language and facial expressions. This can be delivered live or added as an audio track to pre-recorded digital shows.

Audio description is essential if you want to open up your creative or cultural event to visually impaired audiences. It can also add a great deal of value to autistic audiences’ experiences and to anyone who struggles with sensory or sequential processing.

It is comprised of several separate elements: introductory notes; touch tours; through description delivered live or pre-recorded; integrated description. (For a detailed explanation, see Services).

The different elements of audio description can be applied on an event specific basis, tailoring the AD to the audience needs of individual shows.

How audio description can help


Tailored to your needs, I can deliver audio description tracks to be embedded into digital services or delivered live. I advise companies in the early stages of developing a show on how to increase the accessibility of their event, including integrated description, touch tours and comprehensive introductory notes.

Providing introductory

This is a document that introduces the event, providing background information to the story or the setting. It describes any set, props, costumes, characters and how those characters are interrelated. It will also deliver access information for the event, giving full details on dates, times and how to attend. It is presented as a large print pdf and an MP3 audio file, which can be sent out in advance directly to audience members or made available as a download on the event website. From resources provided by the production and the venue, and after viewing the event, I will create comprehensive introductory notes to be delivered to VI audiences.

Planning and leading touch tours and handling sessions

A touch tour is an event where audience members are invited onto the stage to handle and examine parts of the set, costumes, props and objects that help tell the story of the performance. It is an event organised with stage management, and can be lead by the stage manager or the audio describer. In collaboration with stage management, I can plan the content and delivery of a touch tour or handling session for your event.

Scripting and delivery of live audio description

I can write and deliver creative and engaging audio through description of your performance, using resources provided by the production. I will liaise with your technical department to make sure that all necessary technical requirements are in place to deliver a seamless and effective service to visually impaired audience members.

Adding audio description to pre-recorded performances

Through description can be added to films of performances which can be streamed or delivered digitally direct to audiences’ homes. I use a modified version of Reaper software to embed the audio description track into the film, working with a virtual sound engineer to ensure a high-quality delivery consistent with the tone of the performance.
Charlotte working with a visual impaired audience member on a theatre touch tour, examining the set on stage.
Improve and adapt Your current services

Not sure where to start with audio description?

Would like to improve or adapt your current access services? Interested in integrating audio description into your production as part of the performance? I can provide tailored advice on audio description from a very basic introduction to AD right through to coming into the rehearsal room to help create integrated overt and /or covert description embedded into your show. Working with visually impaired colleagues, these services can be moulded to fit your requirements.

Get in Touch

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