Friday, 19 August 2011

Access London - Theatre Update

Welcome back to Access London and thank you once again for your continued support for disability access and awareness in the Capital. Firstly, thank you for all your lovely messages about my previous post on Phantom's 25th and the interview with former Raoul, Michael Xavier. If I haven't already replied to you, I'm really sorry and I will reply asap. Lots more to come on that and lots more exciting interviews too.

Today's post is one of Access London's regular theatre updates. Just to remind all readers that The Lincoln Center Theater's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical South Pacific has opened at The Barbican. Currently finishing its first week of previews, the show has opened with great success.

I saw the show this week and will bring a longer and fuller post next week, including a cast interview.

Until then, please book your Access tickets as soon as possible as they are selling very quickly. The Barbican has its own Access Scheme which is free to join and you are able to register your details with your specific needs (wheelchair or scooter user, hard of hearing, unable to manage stairs etc) and they can then help find the best seats for your needs. The wheelchair and scooter accessible bays are at the back of the stalls but because of the height of the venue and the steps (rather than rake) down the stalls, the view is completely clear and you really don't feel very far from the stage at all.

Each wheelchair or scooter space comes with an additional chair for a companion or carer, who can buy their ticket at the same amazing Access Rate as you. The staff are all incredibly helpful at The Barbican and happy to assist. I would suggest however that if you are unsure of whether or not you may need to use a wheelchair, if you are not a full-time user, then on this occasion perhaps you should. The Barbican is a very large venue and although the Access is all very good and there are lifts to all levels, bars and facilities, it can be a fair walk from the car parks or drop-off points.

Joining the Access Scheme also allows blue badge holders to park for free in The Barbican's car parks - simply take your Access theatre ticket to the box office on arrival and they will provide you with a free ticket to get out of the car park after the show.

To book tickets for both Access and regular seats, please call the box office on: 020 7638 8891. To register for the Access scheme you can either phone the box office or complete the form online HERE

September will see the opening of The Belle's Stratagem at The Southwark Playhouse, near London Bridge. The Red Handed Theatre Company's production of this play runs from 6th September until 1st October 2011. There will be performances Monday-Saturday at 7.45pm and a matinee performance on Saturdays at 3.15pm.

"London, 1780. And it’s marriage season. But one group of wily women are determined to challenge the status quo.

Young Letitia Hardy is shocked when her fiancée returns from the Continent convinced that English women are dull. Defying convention, she sets out to gain his love with an ingenious scheme to prove him wrong.

Meanwhile, Sir George is trying desperately to protect his wife from the evils of high society. He hasn’t counted however on two of London’s most rambunctious wits, Miss Ogle and Mrs Rackett, making it their mission to convert her into a lady of fashion.

One of the most popular plays of its time, The Belle’s Stratagem, has not been performed in over a century."

Directed by Jessica Swale, The Belle's Stratagem has a fabulous cast of 16 and stars the talented Gina Beck.

There is level Access in the theatre and dedicated wheelchair spaces and accessible facilities. There is also the opportunity to transfer to a seat too. The Southwark Playhouse' Access policy allows a companion/carer to go in for free when accompanying a disabled visitor. Tickets for this production start from only £10.

To book both Access and regular tickets for this exciting new prodcution, please call the box office on 020 7407 0234. For any Access queries, please email

COMING SOON: South Pacific, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Tempest, Natural History Museum

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