The Orchard Theatre
There is an access ramp via the right of the entrance, that brings you onto the same level as the stalls, lower bar and disabled toilet, which is operated by a radar key. All of our stairs have handrails except those in the auditorium. Please note the Orchard Theatre does not have any lifts. Wheelchair users are accommodated in six spaces, three each side of the front stalls. Additional seating is provided next to these spaces for a personal assistant.
The theatre has a limited disabled parking bays, which can be booked on a first come first serve basis for blue badge holders through our Ticket Office.
In addition to the on-site bays, there are five public disabled parking spaces in Suffolk Road to the right of the clock-tower and further spaces are available in the town centre and on the lower level of the Orchards Shopping Centre Car Park.
An interpreter will stand in a visible position and interpret the spoken and heard elements of a performance. A seat space can be made available for the use of guide/assistance dogs.
The theatre has installed two hearing aid systems, infra-red audio enhancement system, and an induction loop system.
Relaxed performances are adapted in a number of ways to reduce anxiety and create a supportive atmosphere, including adjusting light and sound levels, and demonstrating an embracing attitude towards audience noise and movement in the auditorium. Relaxed performances could provide an opportunity for people with autism spectrum conditions, learning disabilities or other sensory and communication needs to access theatre in a relaxed environment.
A relaxed atmosphere performance is a performance where the upper circle will be treated as a relaxed area which will include being able to use tablets or phones and also being able to go in and out of the venue as much as needed.
Audio Described Performances
Audio description is a verbal commentary that tells theatre-goers what is happening on the stage during the parts of the performance where there is no dialogue (i.e. during fight scenes). The description does not interfere with the performance but fills in the gaps, describing facial expressions, costume, scenery and action sequences so that anyone can follow the plot fully and independently. Furthermore on the day a touch tour takes place prior to the show and gives those people who will be listening to the audio description a chance to explore the set, costumes and sometimes, meet some of the actors.
Captioning converts the spoken word into text that provides people with hearing loss access to live performance. In captioning, the words appear on a screen at the same time as they are sung or spoken. Captions also include sound effects and offstage noises.
Provided by www.stagetext.org
Our Visual Story has helped numerous children and adults who experience Autistic spectrum disorders. It breaks down the experience of visiting the theatre into small steps using words and pictures.
Download a copy of The Orchard Social Story
At the time of booking, if you have any access requirements or questions please contact our Ticket Office on 01322 220000.
Download The Orchard Theatre's Disability Access Policy