Visual Impairment Services
Guide dogs are welcome in our theatres and can be catered for. Please contact your theate's Access Champion if you have additional questions or requests regarding your visit.
Please inform the member of staff about your dog at the time of booking to ensure that you are booked into the most appropriate and spacious seat for you and your dog.
Arriving at the theatre
We recommend that all our patrons arrive 30 minutes before the performance starts. If you require assistance, please notify a member of staff. We can provide your dog with water and a member of staff can take you to your seat.
Audio Described Performances
What is an Audio Described performance?
Audio Description is a live verbal commentary given through infra-red headsets to assist patrons who are visually impaired. A trained Audio Describer will be in a box at the back of the auditorium with a view of the stage and will conduct the description live.
An introduction is given prior to the show. During silent intervals in the show (e.g. when there is a scene change and no dialogue), verbal commentary describes the setting, costumes, characters, facial expressions, body language and action. The description does not interfere with the performance but fills in the gaps.
Finding out when Audio Described performances are
Not all shows have Audio Described performances. Any Audio Described performances will have this captioned logo next to it in brochures and online. Click here for a list of Audio Described performances currently scheduled. Our Access team will also be aware when Audio Described performances are and will be able to assist with requests, so you can always call our dedicated Access booking line 0800 912 6971 or typetalk number 18001 0800 912 6971.
To book the most appropriate seats, please book Audio Described performances over the phone (0844 871 7677 or typetalk number 18001 0871 297 5477), by email with the theatre's Access Champion, or in person at the Box Office, and our team will recommend the best position to sit in.
You can also contact your theatre’s Access Champion to request available additional resources, which might range from a synopsis of the show in CD format, a large print or Braille cast list, to an audio programme. Dependent on availability, these can be sent to you prior to the performance. Touch Tours before the performance are also available: to find out about, or arrange a Touch Tour, contact your theatre's Access Champion.
You may have to collect your tickets from the Box Office on the day of the performance. On arrival at the theatre, please collect a headset from a member of staff in the foyer. They will explain how the headset works and will set it to the correct channel.
What is a Touch Tour?
Touch Tours give our patrons who are visually impaired the opportunity to go up on stage and touch parts of the set and any major pieces of scenery, props and costumes. This is to help audience members to immerse themselves in the imaginary world presented on stage.
Finding out when Touch Tours are
Not all shows have Touch Tours. To find out if a show has a touch tour and book a place, email your theatre's Access Champion.
What is an Orientation Visit?
Orientation Visits are beneficial to anybody who would feel more confident about their visit to the theatre if they had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the venue beforehand. They enable patrons to have a tour of the theatre prior to their visit, ask any questions, and learn a bit more about what they can expect from the theatre environment. They will cover a typical patron’s ‘journey’ from booking and collecting tickets to visiting the auditorium, the bars, chill out areas and accessible toilets.
Anyone attending an upcoming performance and who feels they’d benefit from an Orientation Visit can attend or request one – simply contact your theatre's Access Champion. They can be arranged for individuals or groups depending on your needs. Orientation Visits are especially beneficial for patrons who use a wheelchair, for groups with additional requirements, for patrons on the autistic spectrum, or for those who are going to attend a Relaxed or assisted performance.
When Orientation Visits are held
Orientation Visits are usually organised on an ad hoc basis. The majority of Orientation Visits will be arranged between 10am and 6pm on weekdays. It may be possible to arrange visits at alternative times but if it’s prior to a performance it would mean that other audience members would be in the theatre at that time.
Booking an Orientation Visit
Please request an Orientation Visit well in advance of the performance by contacting your theatre's Access Champion. It is essential that you contact the venue in advance in order to ensure that staff members are available to assist you and that access can be gained into the auditorium. We cannot guarantee an Orientation Visit without pre-booking.
At Seat Service
What is At Seat Service?
This can be provided for any patrons with an Access requirement. Our friendly staff can arrange for refreshments to be brought to your seat, both before the performance and during the interval. They will take your order for drinks, ice cream, merchandise or kiosk items and can bring them to you in your seat.
Arranging At Seat Service
You do not need to book At Seat Service in advance. Please request this on arrival with any member of staff at the performance you attend. There will be no need to pay more for these refreshments, but we can only accept cash at present.