Monday, 26 November 2012

Chariots of Fire @ The Gielgud Theatre

Welcome back to Access London and Thank You once again for helping to support Access for All to the Arts.
Chariots of Fire: "Adapted from the legendary Oscar-winning movie, this spectacular and ingenious retelling of Eric Liddell's and Harold Abrahams' quest to become the fastest men on earth is an electrifying and immensely moving tale of two men's rivalry, and their unwavering determination to conquer the world in the face of prejudice, immovable beliefs and overwhelming odds. Featuring the original, hugely iconic Vangelis score and a magnificent ensemble cast, Chariots of Fire brings alive the incredible true story of two British athletes whose honour, sacrifice and courage brought them glory and immortality on the greatest sporting stage of all." Chariots of Fire is 'running' at the Gielgud Theatre, on Shaftesbury Avenue, until the 2nd February 2013. Performances are on Monday-Saturday evenings at 7.45pm and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 3.00pm. Please note that there will be some changes to the performance schedule over the Christmas and new year period. To see the schedule for this time visit The Gielgud Theatre Website For Country, For Honour, Forever.
Access Information: If you are a wheelchair or scooter user, just notify someone at the front of the theatre upon arrival and a side Exit door will be opened for you on Rupert Street (third door along). There is one step at this door but there is ramp that can be placed over it to allow for access. There is step-free access to the foyer bar where there is also an accessible WC. There are 2 dedicated wheelchair spaces in the dress circle (at either end of row B). Alternatively, if you can transfer, seats B5 and B30 in the dress circle are step-free. The theatre has an infra-red system with 12 headsets that can be borrowed from the foyer - note that a receipt must be signed for the use of these upon presenting ID. Assistance dogs are allowed into the auditorium, alternatively, staff can sit with the dog during the performance. Everyone at the theatre is extremely helpful and has great disability awareness. Please be aware that strobe lighting and a starting pistol are used during this production.
Discounted Access tickets are available to those with a disability and a companion (depending on availability at each performance). To book Access tickets for Chariots of Fire, please call Delfont Mackintosh Theatres Access line on 0844 482 5137 and select the option for the Gielgud Theatre. This takes you directly through to the box office at the theatre.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Brookside Theatre and 'Deathtrap'

Welcome back to Access London and Thank You once again for helping to support Access for All to the Arts. This post heads away from central London and towards the London/Essex border, to the Brookside Theatre and their current production, Deathtrap.
The theatre is based within the Romford War Memorial Social Club, a fitting tribute as today is Remembrance Day...."The Brookside Theatre is a voluntarily run organisation and the home of Stage One Theatre Company, an award-winning, Romford-based theatre group established in 1991. The theatre is based within the Romford War Memorial Social Club (RWMSC) on Eastern Road and the main purpose of all events held at the theatre is to raise money and awareness for the club which is a registered charity as well as a registered war memorial. The RWMSC was officially opened on the 11th October, 1953, by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lt.-Col Sir Francis Whitmore, to commemorate the residents, civilians and service personnel of Romford who tragically lost their lives during WWII. The main purpose of the charity is to provide social activities to the senior citizens of Romford and Havering.
In 2012, Stage One Theatre Company performed the first fundraising event for the RWMSC at the Brookside Theatre. This event marked the first of many planned to help fund the renovations and support to the RWMSC, a worthwhile charity within the community. With its 60th anniversary in October 2013, further funds are needed to complete renovation works to both the main hall and also the front building, which houses the commemorative panels listing the names of the fallen which were donated by the US Air Force in recognition of the hospitability they received when stationed in Romford during WWII. Independent of any council or applied funding, The Brookside Theatre is entirely self sufficient, thanks to kind donations, ticket sales, membership subscriptions and the 'Friends’ of The Brookside Theatre. Any person over the age of 16 is welcome to join the volunteers working at the theatre and will be encouraged and taught to develop skills: whether that be acting, marketing, set building, sound or costume design etc. The Brookside Theatre is proud to survive through the dedication of its volunteers."
Brookside's current production is the comedy thriller, Deathtrap, which runs until Saturday 17th November (evening performances at 8.00pm and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.00pm). "A play to kill for... Writer Sidney Bruhl's luck has run out. Once the toast of Broadway, he hasn't had a hit play in years... Young and aspiring playwright, Clifford Anderson, a student of one of Sidney's writing classes, just so happens to have written the perfect play - 'Deathtrap'. Desperate for success, Sidney would do anything to claim Clifford's play as his own. And then he comes up with a killer idea..." Written by Ira Levin and Directed by Neil Reynolds ( @neilreynolds ), Deathtrap's cast includes, CJ de Mooi (Sidney Bruhl) James Meunier (Clifford Anderson) Helen Jeckells (Myra Bruhl) Nicki French (Helga ten Dorp) Clifford Hume (Porter Milgrim).
Access Information: Parking spaces for those with Access needs can be pre-booked via the box office. The theatre is located behind another building and there isn't a great deal of street lighting around, so please be aware of this when arriving and leaving in the dark. From the car park, there is a gentle ramp up to the entrance, with handrails on either side. The building itself is all on one level, so there is no issue with stairs. The box office is lowered and there is plenty of room inside for wheelchair or scooter users. Although, there is level access to toilet facilities, at the present time, there is no adapted accessible toilet - an issue I am told is being looked at. The chairs in the theatre are not fixed and so seating can be arranged and adapted to suit the needs of those with disabilities - please notify box office at time of booking. There are ticket concessions available for disabled patrons and one companion. To book Access tickets, please call the box office on: 01708 755775. For all other tickets and to find out more about the theatre and its productions, please visit their website at