There is something for everyone to enjoy at The Grand Theatre, Blackpool and with facilities for those with disabilities and a range of access performances it’s never been easier for you to enjoy your favourite shows.
As well as offering a fantastic line up of accessible shows, the theatre has also been working on new features including and a new wheelchair platform. After receiving £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, The Grand Theatre has been able to upgrade both the Audio Describing equipment and the hearing loop system throughout the auditorium to improve the experience for users of these services.
This funding has also allowed the theatre to visit several groups representing those with disabilities to find out from the community the barriers that are presented by a visit to the theatre. By talking to the people affected, the theatre has been able to remove barriers to access and provide more training for staff.
In 2015, The Grand Theatre also received £60,000 of funding from SITA Trust, to improve access in the foyer and stalls areas of the theatre. A platform lift has been fitted allowing patrons with reduced mobility access to the stalls via the Box Office and foyer.
Peter Sessions, SITA Trust Programmes Manager, said,
SITA Trust was delighted to be able to provide the funds to transform the foyer of the Grand Theatre restoring it to its original splendour and making it ‘wheelchair friendly’. This included providing a platform lift to take patrons with mobility problems from the foyer to the lower stalls.
Accessible events at Blackpool Grand
With a range of great shows now being British Sign Language interpreted, Audio Described and Captioned, hearing-impaired, deaf, blind and partially sighted patrons can enjoy performances more than ever before.
Some highlights of this season’s access calendar include Accessible performances for the Royal Shakespeare Company‘s production of Julius Caesar:
Captioned performance – Thu 18 May | 7:30pm
BSL integrated performance – Fri 19 May 7:30pm
Audio Described Performance – Sat 20 May | 2pm
Concerned that Caesar poses a threat to democracy, revolutionaries take the violent decision to murder him. They have no plan for what comes next. As the world spins out of control, chaos, horror and superstition rush in to fill the void. Civil war erupts and a new leader must rise: but at what cost?
Following last year’s record-breaking pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, you’re guaranteed another year of spectacular sets, dazzling costumes and side-splitting comedy with this years Aladdin! This year we really wanted to make it accessible for all, you can find Audio described and signed performances on Sat 9 and Sat 16 December, 2pm and Thu 28 December, 1pm, and once again, a relaxed performance on Thursday 28 December at 5pm.
A Relaxed Environment performance is perfect for anyone who benefits from a more relaxed performance environment, 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. There will be a few technical adjustments made to the performance. They are not suitable for customers with sensory sensitivities.(You can book this performance online, or to book over the phone call our Box Office on 01253 290190.)
On 18th February 2023 there will be an Audio Described Performance for the iconic Rocky Horror Show at 5:30pm. The Rocky Horror Show is the story of two squeaky clean college kids – Brad and his fiancée Janet. When by a twist of fate, their car breaks down outside a creepy mansion whilst on their way to visit their former college professor, they meet the charismatic Dr Frank’n’Furter. It is an adventure they’ll never forget, filled with fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity. Not a show to be missed!
If you would like to see any of the new facilities mentioned above, please ask the friendly and professional staff at the Box Office or Front of House.
For more information about accessible performances call Box Office on 01253 290190
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