Thursday, 1 August 2013

Chichester's Theatre in the Park & Barnum

Welcome back to Access London and thank you once again for supporting Access for All. Summer is finally here and many of us want a break from city life for a few days and escape to the country or coast. Today's post is about Chichester's new venue, Theatre in the Park, a great way to have a break from London and still get your theatre fix! Theatre in the Park is Chichester's new temporary venue, whilst its Festival Theatre is being refurbished. It is located in the park, next door to the Festival Theatre. The theatre's big Summer production is Barnum.
"‘Barnum’s the name, P T Barnum, and I want to tell you that tonight, on this stage, you are going to see - bar none - every sight, wonder and miracle that name stands for!’ This exhilarating musical follows the irrepressible imagination and dreams of Phineas T Barnum, America’s Greatest Showman. The story of his life and his marriage to Chairy reveals a couple who looked at the world from opposite sides of the spectrum, and also reveals that she was the practical one who made his dreams come true. We follow the legendary showman’s life as he lit up the world with the colour, warmth and excitement of his imagination and finally teamed up with J A Bailey to create Barnum and Bailey’s Circus - the Greatest Show on Earth. Cy Coleman’s wonderfully exuberant score includes the hits Come Follow The Band, The Colours Of My Life and There’s A Sucker Born Ev’ry Minute. Barnum will be produced especially for the Theatre in the Park, Festival 2013’s magnificent temporary auditorium, its vast tented environment creating the perfect home for this brilliant, uplifting musical, shot through with the magic of circus."
Access Info: Theatre in the Park has 8 wheelchair spaces that can be accessed by lift or ramp. This is currently the largest temporary theatre in the UK with a lift inside, allowing wheelchair users and those with mobility problems more flexibility in where there choose to sit. At the moment, you cannot transfer from a wheelchair into a theatre seat. The Minerva Theatre is still in use this Summer and has 2 wheelchair spaces that can be accessed via a lift to the 1st floor. Patrons with disabilities are entitled to a 40% discount on tickets for themselves and 1 companion. In order to qualify for this discount, you simply need to fill in the Access List application form that can be found on the Theatre's website. The application only requires basic information and is usually processed very quickly. If however you have specific dates in mind that you wish to see the show, you can reserve tickets through the box office and then pay for them (within 4 days) once your application has been accepted. Because of the current building work on the site, the Festival Theatre car park is not in use. You can however still drop off just outside but will need to drive elsewhere to park. From the drop off point, it is a very short distance to the bottom of the park. From here there is a free buggy service that can take you up to the theatre itself.
For those patrons with hearing impairments, Sennheiser units are available free of charge from the Access Point in the Theatre in the Park foyer and from staff on the first floor of the Minerva Theatre. Assistance dogs are welcome in both theatres but please let the box office know when you book your tickets as spaces are limited per performance. All end of row letters and individual seat numbers are in braille in both theatres. Touch Tours for visually impaired customers will take place 90 minutes before an audio described performance and last approximately 30 minutes. For more information, please contact the House Manager on 01243 784437. Audio Described performances for Barnum are on the following dates: Friday 9 August evening, Saturday 10 August matinee, Friday 23 August evening, Saturday 24 August matinee. There is a signed performance of Barnum on Thursday 22 August evening. There is also a captioned performance of Barnum on Saturday 31 August matinee. For Access performances to all other shows at Theatre in the Park and the Minerva, please see the Access performances page on their website HERE . For details of Chichester's Access List and to join, please see their Access List page HERE .
Barnum is running at Theatre in the Park until 31st August 2013. Performances are Monday - Saturday evenings at 7.30pm and also matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm. To book Access tickets for Barnum and all other shows at Theatre in the Park and the Minerva, please call the box office directly on 01243 781312.

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