Mercury Theatre,
Balkerne Gate,
Access,Audience Development,Exhibition & Gallery


Stagetext is a UK charity which provides live subtitling services for talks and tours in museums, galleries and other cultural venues. The speakers’ words are displayed openly on screens for talks and lectures, or appear on handheld tablets for tours. We can also subtitle digital content, including online trailers and films, recorded events and live streams.

A speech-to-text reporter (STTR) transcribes every word a speaker says using a special electronic shorthand keyboard which allows them to type phonetically (how words sound rather than how they are spelt). The words are then immediately converted back into English text by a computer software program, enabling the STTR to keep up with the speed of spoken English.

Who are live subtitles for?

There are an estimated 11 million people in the UK that are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing – that’s 1 in 6 of us, and it’s set to increase to over 15 million by 2035. For many people who lose their hearing later in life, learning BSL can be a challenge and even though some venues provide loop systems, these are not always suitable for everyone. Text based access, through live subtitling can be used by so many people, deepening their experience of arts and culture.

Why choose Stagetext?

  • Stagetext uses experienced STTRs and can offer various ways of delivering the text. We can tailor the service to meet your needs, offering the highest quality and most cost-effective solution to clients.
  • Stagetext has over 15 years experience of providing captioned (subtitled) performances in theatres across the UK and 4 years experience of providing access to talks in museums and galleries.
  • We have a mailing list of deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people and can publicise your events via our website listings and social media channels.
  • Stagetext can subtitle your digital content, including online trailers, recorded events and live streams, as well as advising the most cost effective ways to subtitle your digital content internally.

Venues where we work

Stagetext provides live subtitling for talks and tours in venues and for festivals such as: Royal Academy of Arts, British Museum, Canal and River Trust, Hunterian Museum, JW3, Museum of London, The Royal Collection, The Wallace Collection, Wellcome Collection, and the Women of the World, Being a Man, Unlimited and Liberty Festivals. Literary events include: Jewish Book Week, the London Literature Festival, Manchester Literature Festival and Wigtown Book Festival.

For more information, please contact:

Courtney Rudge (Live Subtitling Manager) – email: [email protected]

Digital subtitles – contact Oliver Webster (Digital Programme Manager) – email: [email protected]

Image Gallery Credits:

1 and 2 Benedict Johnson Photography
3 The Royal Society
4, 5, 9 and 10 Wellcome Trust
6, 7 and 8 Anthony Brown

Specialist Updates


Live subtitles are a superb initiative. They lend themselves to so many audiences – amongst them deaf and partially hearing people, and young as well as older visitors. The feedback has been unequivocably positive.

Access and Equality Manager British Museum, London

We hadn’t really thought about the part of the audience who might not necessarily declare themselves as hard of hearing – who might need that little ‘boost’ from the text every now and again – and how this could be a comfortable way for them to enjoy the event without being concerned about what they might be missing.

National Gallery, London

Subtitled talks reduce the stress of trying to lipread. They are brilliant! After a long time of being excluded from the hearing world at such events, that is now history.

Ginny Kanka Deaf Visitor

Having lost my hearing fairly recently, this tour was the most accessible I’ve been on so far. I liked the fact that I could glance at the exhibition while reading the hand-held device. I didn’t have to rely on my wife to explain what the guide had said afterwards.

Richard Turner Deafened Visitor

Access means that more and more people are able to come. It makes total sense for us to put all our energy into improving access.

Visitor Experience Manager Wellcome Collection