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Accessible performances

We regularly provide accessible performances. Click here to see full listings of our accessible shows.

This is a brief guide to what accessible performances are and who they may benefit. All our services are free, you only need to pay for your tickets.

The black and white logo for audio described performances
Audio Described

Audio Described performances enable those who are blind or have a visual access need to listen to a commentary describing the set, characters, expressions and action of the show alongside the dialogue, sound effects and any music to help paint a picture of what is happening onstage through sound.

This is done live, usually by an Audio Describer with the commentary received via a headset connected to the Audio Describer.

Before the show begins, they will introduce themselves and give you details about the characters, set, props and costumes.

When you book tickets to see an Audio Described performance you will be asked how many headsets you would like. We will ask you this if you book by phone. There is no charge for using our headsets.

You can collect your headset from our sales desk in our foyer or ask a member of staff to assist you.

The black and white logo for touch tours
Touch Tours

A Touch Tour allows audience members to touch and explore some of the set, props and costumes from the show before the show starts to further help picture what is onstage, and being described in the Audio Describer’s commentary.

Sometimes you will get to meet some of the actors to familiarise yourself with their voices.

Our Touch Tours usually take place in the auditorium an hour before the show is due to start on our Audio Described performances.

If you are booking tickets online to see an Audio Described performance when you checkout you will be asked if you want to book a place on our Touch Tours. We will also ask you this if you are booking by phone.

The black and white logo for captioned performances

Captioned performances are like having subtitles on a film or television programme except for live performance. The dialogue will appear on captioning screens as the actors speak along with any song lyrics or sound effects there may be.

This is done live using a preloaded script so that the captions are timed as best they can with the dialogue and are not too far ahead or behind, which can easily spoil your experience especially if you are behind or ahead of a joke.

Captioned performances are useful for anyone who is deaf or has a hearing access needs but they can also be beneficial for people whose first language is not English, or Welsh if the show is in Welsh, and for language learners to further their learning. They can also be useful for understanding certain accents and dialects.

The black and white logo for BSL performances
BSL Interpreted

BSL Interpreted performances are where a British Sign Language Interpreter will interpret the show for Deaf audience members. This will include the dialogue, sound effects, songs if there are any, expression and emotion to go alongside the physical action onstage. Generally, the Interpreter stands on the side of the stage.

You can find out where the BSL Interpreter will be standing for our signed performances by looking at our seating plan. Their position will be shown on the stage as pointed out by the red arrow in the above image.

BSL Interpreted performances are for audience members who identify as Deaf or who may be learning British Sign Language.

The black and white logo for relaxed performances

Relaxed performances are performances of a show where the rules and the atmosphere are much more relaxed. This can mean that audience members are free to come and go from the auditorium as they need, the lights won’t go completely dark, sound effects and music may be quieter, some lighting and special effects may be removed to lessen the sensory impact and, in some cases, there may be changes to the script.

Relaxed performances are often associated as being for autistic and learning disabled audience members but they can also be beneficial for anyone who has tics or makes involuntary noises, people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s, anyone with sensory processing or communication disorders, and for anyone with anxiety or fears relating to the dark, loud noises and crowds.

Anyone who may find going to the theatre too stressful and too much of a sensory overload. Even for people who may need to stand and walk about more due to a pain condition or visit the toilet more frequently.

Audience members are welcome to wear ear defenders, glasses for light sensitivity, and bring along any fidgets or comfort items, regardless of whether the performance is a specific Relaxed performance or not.

Presently we do not have a dedicated chill out space for our Relaxed performances because of the nature of our foyer, however you are welcome to sit in the foyer or in front of the foyer if you need some time out of auditorium.

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