So for those of you living close to Edinburgh you will know that the Festival and Fringe is upon us so I’m taking the opportunity to look at theatre provision.
The policy for tickets in the major theatres appears usually to be wheelchair and companion get tickets at cheapest available price. During the Fringe and Festival, the ticket policy is left to each venue and many will give either a free carer ticket or tickets for everyone at the lowest ticket price.
These are based on our personal experience, if you can add to this please comment either in the post or on the facebook page.
The wheelchair seating in the main auditorium is at the front of the rear seating this gives a clear unobstructed view from a standard child height wheelchair. There is companion seating and other seating in the same row, or the one behind for a larger group. Their space has removable seats at the front so restricted access.
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh.
The wheelchair seating is at the back of the front stalls and is spread across the row, meaning that companion seats are available. We’ve been as a group and had others sitting both beside us and in the row in front which worked well. There is a slightly raised platform which helps with the view but for children in a standard height wheelchair you will still need a boost in seat height. The theatre do not have booster cushion but were able to supply some cushions.
Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh
The wheelchair seating (space for 3) is at the front of the back stalls, in the middle with companion seating at the sides. If you are in a group you may end up slightly separated. The seating is slightly back from the front stalls and right in the middle which really helps to avoid obstructed views. However, one wheelchair space is a bit low for a standard height child wheelchair. Again they do not have a booster cushion but were able to supply blankets.
The Playhouse, Edinburgh
Wheelchair seating is at the back of the grand circle. It is set back from the main seats and this gives a clear unobstructed view from a standard child height wheelchair. A companion seat is available and there is seating in the row behind for larger groups.
New London Theatre, London
The wheelchair seating is at the back of the seating. Access is via the stage door and uses at least one odd shaped lift so is not suitable for all wheelchair sizes. The seating is slightly raised but for children in a standard height wheelchair you will still need a boost in seat height. The theatre have booster cushions available.
Autism Friendly Performances
Thank you to The National Autistic Society Scotland for the details on autism friendly performances available.
Cineworld, Picturehouse and Odeon cinema groups have autism-friendly screenings throughout the UK, as do independents like Eden Court in Inverness, MacRobert Stirling, the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) and Glasgow Grosvenor.
Disney’s The Lion King Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh on 24 November 2013.
The changes being made at this particular performance include modifications to booking process, performance and the theatre environment. The theatre’s foyer will have designated quiet and activity areas, staffed by autism experts throughout the performance should anyone need to leave their seats. There is also an autism-friendly website and booking system has been set up specifically for this performance
Glasgow Giffnock's Eastwood Theatre are currently planning an autism-friendly performance of Children's Edibles by Grinagog Theatre for December 18th. NAS Scotland is currently awaiting further details, but it's expected to be a non-verbal performance for a young audience of up to 25.
Her Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen are planning a 'relaxed' performance of Cinderella on January 3rd 2014. NAS Scotland has not worked directly with the theatre on this production. For further details please contact the theatre directly.