When Gemma and Sophie first started working together in 2006 they agreed that a key aim of their collaboration would be to invigorate theatre captioning and create a new form of captions that was artistically led. With When to Run they started to develop a style that replaced words with logos and pictures, and delineated character and atmosphere through text effect. The experiment seemed to work and audiences gave very positive feedback to what they saw.

 In 2008 when they received a commission for the Lyric Hammersmith to develop a new show they developed their artistic captioning style further. Fight Face was remarkable for its innovative design, which included captioning both the dialogue and sound effects. Every aural reference onstage had a visual representation in the AV design. The system was created through a collaboration with AV designer Douglas O'Connell, animator Steve May and stagetext teacher Alex Romeo. Together with Gemma Fairlie they designed captions that were an integral part of the design and atmosphere of the show.

In 2010 they won a prestigious new award to research and develop their captioning system further. The Theatre Sandbox award allowed for three months of R&D working with computer programmer Yousif Ahmed from Nottingham University's Mixed Reality Lab. Given this opportunity they were able to create new and unique programming that allowed the captions to respond live in the moment of performance to the performer's change in pitch and volume. Although still in prototype this technology could revolutionise the way we we interact with captions as performers and audience.

For more information on the award and for Sophie and Gemma's blog during the experience please go to:


and this is our video: