We offer audio description and touch tours for a variety of shows throughout the year and try our best to schedule something for everyone.
Audio Description is a description of the action that is taking placing on stage which is transmitted using one of our Sennheiser assistive hearing systems and is generally used by our customers who have a visual impairment.The description is live and takes place in the gaps in the speech and not while the cast are speaking. A 15 minute introduction ALSO takes place before the performance as part of the Audio Description, describing the cast and character relationships and offering details about costume, set and any visual effects.
We have a range of headsets available for audio description so you can find one that is comfortable for you. The audio headsets work wherever you choose to sit in our auditorium, however please be aware that we hold ‘Best Available’ seats for those customers on our Access Register who require Audio Description or wish to use this service. These seats are nearer to the stage and are available in order to give our visually impaired customers the best possible experience.
If you are a member of our Access Register and would like to use this service, please make the Box Office aware when booking so they can offer you the best available seats.
Prior to Audio described performances, we offer a free Touch Tour. This is a guided tour led by our audio describer that will allow you to experience the stage and set up close. Exploring and touching set pieces, props and costumes. Touch tours are generally scheduled an hour before the performance begins dependent on the type of show and are offered to our visually impaired customers.
Please book on to the touch tour when booking your tickets as spaces are limited. If you have any mobility issues please make us aware prior to the performance.
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.
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 also has a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01902 57 33 20 to talk through your needs.
Guide dogs are welcome in the theatre, and if you are happy to do so you can keep your dog with you in the auditorium. When booking your tickets please ensure you inform the Box Office if you intend to take your assistance dog into the auditorium with you, this will allow us to allocate the most appropriate seating for you. Please note, dogs taken into the auditorium must be with and are the sole responsibility of the owner at all times.
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, working alongside the charity Beacon, can arrange for a verified volunteer to look after your dog on the premises during your visit, as part of our Assistive Dog Scheme.
Please inform the Box Office that you would like to use this service when booking your tickets. They will pass the details of your visit on to our Access & Inclusion Manager who can assist in making arrangements for you. If you are booking online and wish to take advantage of this service, please email email@example.com 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. We are unable to arrange this service if it is requested within seven days of the date of your performance.
For further information, or to request this service please contact us in advance of your visit at firstname.lastname@example.org