Accessibility

Orchard Auditorium

INFORMATION UPCOMING ACCESS PERFORMANCES

Requesting Access Tickets

Phone Lines: 0343 310 0033
Open from 10:30am – 4pm, Mon – Sat.

When our box office is closed you can request access tickets using our online form. 

Request Access Tickets 

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.


Signed performances

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

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.


Relaxed Atmosphere

These are perfect for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment. These performances allow for noise and movement in the auditorium, re-entry when needed and a chill-out space for patrons who may need time away from the performance. 

A Relaxed Atmosphere performance is perfect for anyone who benefits from being able to make a noise, leave and return to their seat or access the toilets during the performance. This would include customers with dementia, anxiety, Tourette’s, bowel and bladder conditions, an autism spectrum condition, or a learning disability. 

Relaxed Atmosphere performances have no adjustments made to the performance. They are not suitable for customers with sensory sensitivities.
 


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.

Provided by VocalEyes.

Hearing Loop 

We also have a hearing loop system (sometimes called an audio induction loop), which is a special type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids. The hearing loop provides a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to ‘T’ (Telecoil) setting. The hearing loop consists of a microphone to pick up the spoken word; an amplifier which processes the signal which is then sent through the final piece; the loop cable, a wire placed around the perimeter of a specific area i.e. a meeting room, a church, a service counter etc to act as an antenna that radiates the magnetic signal to the hearing aid. 


Captioned Performance
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

Visual Story

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 0343 310 0033. 

Download The Orchard Theatre's Disability Access Policy


Upcoming Access Performances

School of Rock

  • Audio Described Performance - Tue 24 May 2022 at 7.30pm
  • Sign Language Interpreted Performance (SLIP) – Wed 25 May 2022 at 7:30pm.

Waitress

  • Audio Described – Thursday 7 July 2022 at 7.30pm

The Cher Show

  • Audio Described – Tuesday 20 September 2022 at 7:30pm

Cinderella

  • Sign Language Interpreted Performance (SLIP) - Thu 22 December 5pm.
  • Relaxed Performance - Thu 15 December 2pm.
  • Audio Described - Wed 21 December 5pm (with optional pre-show Touch Tour time TBC). 
 

SIX The Musical

  • Captioned Performance – 26 January 2023 at 8pm

Sister Act

  • Sign Language Interpreted Performance (SLIP) – Wed 8 February 2023 at 7:30pm.