Guide Dogs are welcome in the theatre. If you are bringing your assistance dog with you there are two options. If you are happy to do so you can keep your dog with you in the auditorium. If you choose to do this then the dog must remain with and be the sole responsibility of the owner at all times. You must also ensure you inform the Box Office if you intend on taking your assistance dog in the auditorium with you. This will allow them to allocate the most appropriate seating for you.
If suitable seating cannot be found or if you would rather your dog not be in the auditorium during the performance due to the loud music/noises, the theatre can arrange for a volunteer to look after them during this time. You must mention this request to Box Office when booking your tickets. They will pass the details of your visit on to our Access & Operations Manager to make arrangements for you. If you are booking online and wish to take advantage of this service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the details of your visit.
Please be aware that although the theatre will make every effort to arrange this on your behalf, this is a voluntary service provided by Beacon and cannot be guaranteed. We will require as much notice as possible so booking tickets in good time is advised.
Audio Description is a description of the action that takes place on stage transmitted via one of our Sennheiser assistive hearing systems, and is generally used by our visually impaired patrons. The description is done live and does not happen when the cast are speaking – only in between dialogue. 15 minutes before the performance starts the describer commences an introduction that covers cast descriptions, character relationships and details about costumes and set.
Our assistive hearing systems work equally well across our entire auditorium meaning patrons are able to choose where they would prefer to sit without this impacting on the quality of the service they receive. However, please be aware that some seats are held off for those members of our Access Register who require to be seated nearer to the stage in order to gain the best experience. If you are a member of our Access Register and wish to use this service, on booking your tickets please let our Box Office staff know to ensure they seat you appropriately.
Please ensure you book your space on the touch tour along with your ticket as places are limited. Please note these tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis.
Further details on our two hearing systems can be found further down this page.
Alongside an Audio Described performance we will offer a Touch Tour. This is free of charge guided tour led by our audio describer that will allow you to see and experience the stage and set up close, exploring and touching set pieces, props and costumes. Touch Tours are generally scheduled for one hour before the performance* and offered to our visually impaired patrons. Please do book your place in advance as places are limited for health and safety reasons. If you have any mobility issues, please let us know when booking as the accessibility of stage varies by performance.
*Please do check the time of the touch tour with our Box Office when booking as it may vary between shows. Should the timing of the Touch Tour be changed for any reason a member of the theatre staff will contact those people who have pre-booked their place in advance.
The Grand Theatre has a Sennheiser assistive hearing system in place that runs via radio frequency. The system is often used by our visually impaired patrons during our Audio Described performances, however those who are hard of hearing may benefit from having the audio from the production’s sound desk played through an individual device, amplifying what they are able to hear in the auditorium.
The system has two types of devices patrons can choose from:
The stethoscope headset, generally used by those patrons who do not use a hearing aid.
And the necklace unit, used by those with a hearing aid that has a T setting.*
Both units give the user the opportunity to increase the volume of the show audio on an individual basis.
The system is an improvement on our older headsets that worked via Infra-red and so has a much greater coverage. Patrons are able to sit in any seat in the auditorium and still utilise this service.
*Our necklace units function when a hearing aid is set to a T setting. Some hearing aids require the user to switch the hearing aid to this setting whereas many digital hearing aids now automatically make this adjustment without the user having to switch settings. If you have further queries about whether or not your specific hearing aid has a T setting or can be switched to a T setting please contact your audiologist.
The Grand Theatre has also introduced a new additional system to work alongside the radio frequency devices. This system is called MobileConnect.
MobileConnect is a free app from Sennheiser that can be downloaded to an individual user’s smartphone. It streams audio content via Wi-Fi live and in great quality. It is fully compatible with IOS and Android accessibility modes where visual impairment support is required.
You can download the app to your own smartphone, and we have iPods preloaded with the app for those without smartphones who wish to utilise this service.
For further information and operational instructions on both of our systems, please click here.
Both of our systems will help to increase volume of show audio for patrons but please be aware that sound levels may vary dependant on the show. Should the performers on a particular show not wear individual microphones their voices are instead captured using one atmospheric microphone above the stage. This means the sound through the headsets will not be as loud as if the actors were wearing individual microphones.
If you have any queries regarding these services you can email email@example.com or call 01902 57 33 20 to talk through your needs.