Eastbourne - theatre for "everyone who enters regardless of age or physical ability"

Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre has underlined its commitment to providing a “wonderful theatrical experience for everyone who enters, regardless of age or physical ability.”
The Devonshire Park TheatreThe Devonshire Park Theatre
The Devonshire Park Theatre

Spokeswoman Aimee Pugh said: “For those patrons who experience barriers to attending theatre the team at the venue try to make the experience as accessible as possible which extends to the hardworking Friends of the Devonshire Park Theatre audio description team who have been tirelessly providing this service for professional week-long productions for 28 years, since 1994.

“With the new season just launched including The Shawshank Redemption (Sept 26-Oct 1), Darker Shores (Oct 24-26) and Aladdin all getting the audio description service, there is plenty of choice. The theatre website details which shows are audio described on each show page. The audio describers cater for those audience members who find themselves at a visual disadvantage to other theatre-goers so they can still enjoy a fully rounded theatrical experience without missing a single thing. The team provide live verbal commentary detailing the visual elements of a production as it unfolds, describing action that is essential to the story and other visual information: style and design of a production, facial expressions and visual jokes that a blind or partially sighted member of the audience might miss. The audio description team consist of volunteer describers who relay the on-stage action and provide additional useful information transmitted to listeners via headsets; and supporters who are present within the auditorium to ensure the users of the audio description headsets are comfortable and confident with the technology. The headsets themselves have recently been updated thanks to the generosity of the Friends at significant cost to ensure the best experience possible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Describers receive considerable in-house training from an RNIB trained describer. It is a huge undertaking to describe a performance; the describer will have watched the show at least three times before they perform live at the Friday evening and Saturday matinee.

“The Devonshire Park Theatre is constrained by its heritage to some extent, but this is always being assessed with options to improve the space currently in planning stages. Disabled access is available and in addition the theatre offers a range of facilities including Infrared and loop hearing system for those in the audience who need a bit more amplification; disabled parking bays directly outside the theatre have been widened; and a ramp to the theatre foyer has been built. Orientation tours are available, guide dogs are welcomed and in addition to audio-described performances, theatre brochures are also available in audio format which are available from the box office (01323 412000).”

fodpt.org.uk and eastbournetheatres.co.uk.

Related topics: