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Easily Accessible Seating
On these diagrams, the seats we recommend as easily accessible are highlighted in yellow. Handrails are marked as red lines.
There is also a page on facilities for customers with mobility impairments or in wheelchairs.
From the Foyer to the Stalls there are 6 steps each side, (with 12 more steps down to Footlights Bar, although the service lift can be used). The Accessible Entrance (top left of the diagram) offers flat access to seats and wheelchair spaces at the back of the stalls.
Handrails down the left and right hand sides (marked as red lines) give easy access to the seats on the ends of the aisles (seats 1-4 / 38-41).
The seats closer to the stage have more steps to negotiate, walking from the rear stalls; Rows ZZ to K have one step per row, to a maximum of 18 steps; there are no steps in Rows J to A.
The front stalls can be accessed by the side entrance, but this is not a normal public entrance and so you will need to make our Front of House staff aware in advance that you need it opened. There are two steps in from the car park and then no more steps up to Row K, so there is good access to all seats at the front. The seats immediately around this entrance are most accessible if you cannot walk very far - marked as the large yellow area at the bottom left of the diagram.
It is also possible to allow foldable wheelchair access via this door, if you can negotiate the two steps and are willing to transfer to a seat. It is not suitable for non-folding wheelchairs, as the wheelchair needs to be stored in one of the standing boxes on the side, which is up a number of steps and may have limited space.
Seats in Row ZZ have no steps, YY has 1 more step, XX has 2 more steps etc. Seats 12-14, 15-17, 23-25 and 26-28 in Rows XX - V are the most accessible in the middle of the rear stalls, as there are only a few steps and are close to the aisle.
If you wish to sit in the middle stalls area, we recommend the outside aisles as they have handrails, whereas the centre aisles involve increasingly more steps as you go closer to the stage with no handrail support.
The Service Lift only takes 4 people, no wheelchairs. There are steps leading to it on all levels. We recommend the Accessible Lift instead, which is big enough to take several wheelchairs at a time. This is marked at the top right of the diagram and is accessible via flat surfaces and automatic doors in the Stalls, Rear Circle, Empire Suite and Wessex Suite.
The Circle is best accessed via the Accessible Lift or the Service Lift, as there are up to 45 steps (depending on which side you walk) from the Foyer to the Dress Circle via the bar.
If you use the Service Lift, there are six steps from the Service lift into the Rear Circle or Empire Suite. There are no steps from the Accessible Lift to the Rear Circle or Empire Suite.
There are 16 steps from Row Q to J in the rear circle, 2 per row, and two more from Row J to the mid circle. The seats easiest accessed are next to the side aisles, as there are handrails alongside.
Also on the centre aisles, at the front and back of the rear circle, there is a border which can be used as a 'handrail' to steady yourself.
The seats next the Wheelchair spaces in Row Q and P are easier to reach and have more space to manoeuvre within.
There are no handrails in the centre aisles for both the Rear and Dress (seats 13/15 and 26/29) so it may be difficult to walk unaided further down.
From the Mid Circle, there are then 3 steps to Row H, then 2 more steps per row to Row A, with a maximum of 17 steps.
To reach the boxes, 10 more steps are accessed via the fire doors. There are then 17 steps down to reach the external fire exit, but this is only open for leaving the theatre, not entering it.
There are handrails at the side aisles but not in the centre aisles for both the Rear and Dress (seats 13/15 and 26/29) so it may be difficult to walk unaided further down.
The Balcony can only be accessed via the Service Lift or stairs, so no wheelchairs are possible.
The Balcony is very steep and we do not recommend it to anyone who is unsteady on their feet, has dizziness problems whilst walking, or suffers from vertigo. Also bear in mind that the lift cannot be used during an evacuation, so you may have to face the 80 odd steps down to the Foyer in an emergency.
There are two steps per row, with handrails down the outside aisles. There are also mini hand rails for every row in the centre aisles.
The easiest access seats are in the back two rows as they involve the least steps. Around seats L and K 13 and 28 there are pillars, which could make it tricky for elderly patrons to move around steadily.
Both the Service Lift and the Accessible Lift go to the Wessex Suite. There are no steps from the Accessible lift, but two steps from the service lift.