Live Theatre is fully accessible. If you have any special access requirements please inform the box office team when booking on (0191) 232 1232, so that we can meet your needs. We welcome Text Relay calls.
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The Trinity Gardens car park and complex is 100 metres from the theatre, it can be accessed from City Road and Trinity Gardens. This secure car park is open from 7am to midnight and costs 90p per hour and is free after 5pm. There is limited on street parking on Broad Chare and additional car parks nearby.
Outside Access (Broad Chare)
There is level access to this service. The main doors are automatic and the doors are double width.
There is level access throughout the building with a few low gradient ramps. There is lift access to 3 floors and adapted toilets throughout on all levels. All toilets are level surface or ramped and have height adjusting sinks and rails. Lighting levels are bright and there are baby change facilities in the ground floor accessible toilet.
The box office and reception desk is six metres from the front entrance. There is level access to reception from the entrance and the reception desk is low with a raised section for varied access. Lighting levels are bright and the hearing system is a fixed loop.
Please listen to this audio guide about getting to and using Live Theatre or take a look over the the following large print document by clicking here.
Facilities for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people
- The venue provides captioned performances
- The venues provides BSL signed performances
- Some staff have BSL training
Facilities for blind or partially sighted people
- The venue provides audio described performances
- The venue provides touch tours
- There are two hearing assistance systems
- There is a fixed loop system
- There is an infrared Seinheiser system Documents can be requested in Braille
- Documents can be requested in large print
- Documents can be requested in Braille
- Documents can be requested in large print
Other access information
- There are spaces for wheelchairs in the cabaret area of the theatre
- Wheelchairs are left with patron or can be stored with Front of House team
- Assistance Dogs are allowed in all areas
- There are bowls for Assistance Dogs water
- Staff receive disability training
What hearing aid systems are in use at Live Theatre?
There are two systems at Live which will help people who have hearing difficulties to make out dialogue more clearly. You can also use one of these systems to receive audio descriptions of the show if you have sight impairments at our special Audio Described performances in the main theatre.
DIGITAL SYSTEM (Infrared) – our special headsets are needed and used for performances in Main Theatre only. If you use a digital hearing aid you will need to swap it for one of our Seinheiser headsets which should be worn with the logo facing up towards the front. These are used for audio described performances but can also be used independently at other performances. Headsets can be picked up at the Box Office, please let the staff know at the time of booking if you will be borrowing one.
There are two switches on the unit - An on/volume switch and a switch with 3 choices to choose what you are using the unit for
- Stereo symbol – mix of show relay (what is said on stage) and audio description (commentary at audio described performances)
- Position One – enhanced show relay (what is said on stage) in both ears
- Position Two – Audio Description not show relay
LOOP SYSTEM – use by putting your own personal hearing aid to the “T” position. The theatre has a loop system built in to the floors of the theatres (Main and Studio) however its signal strength is less strong in parts of the main theatre – it is best in fixed seating A & B 7 – 17 and the cabaret seats near these. Please advise the Box Office staff if you are using a hearing aid and they will seat you accordingly.
If you have problems with this system, you can use Lives’ own digital headset but you will need to remove your own hearing aid device. Please let staff know as soon as possible if there are any problems with the services we offer you.
Leaflets and programmes produced by Live Theatre are available in a range of formats. Call (0191) 229 2373 with your request.
Live Theatre is now offering a range of assisted performances throughout the year aimed at improving the theatre experience for all audience members. Watch out for the following symbols to find a performance that meets your needs:
British Sign Language
During a BSL interpreted show the “interpreter” will make use of space and us the movement of their hands, body, face and head in a non verbal language which is used by some members of the deaf community, their friends and families. They are positioned on or next to the stage so they can be seen by users of the service and other members of the audience. They may wear a costume in keeping with the other actors on stage so that they blend in to the “world” of the production.
What do I have to do?
Tell the box office that you would like a clear view of the BSL signer when you buy your ticket.
Will I enjoy the experience?
Our signers are trained professionals who turn a spoken script in to one which uses visual language. They rehearse the show to match the way the actors speak and make sure their timing really matches the live action on the stage. Even if the unthinkable happens and an actor forgets a line they can follow and recover the script in real time which means they don’t give away a punch line or plot too soon.
Captioning is a great way for anyone who sometimes finds it difficult to hear the actors speaking to still enjoy coming to the theatre. People who are studying classic texts or want to improve their English also find captioning useful. It should not spoil the show for non service users because the text is displayed in real time with the actors speaking the words.
Even if you hear most things but if you need to see people’s faces to follow a conversation or struggle with certain voices, accents or styles of speaking, then theatre captioning improves your theatre visit. You will see the words spoken by the performers displayed as text on a screen on or next to the stage. You will also see the name of the character who is speaking and a description of any sound effect. It’s a bit like television subtitles and is done in real time.
What do I have to do?
Tell the box office that you would like a clear view of the caption screen when you buy your ticket.
Will I enjoy the experience?
Our captioners are trained professionals. They take 40 hours to turn a script into captions.
The script is formatted using unique STAGETEXT software. The captioner delivers the script live from the back of the auditorium or in the technicians’ box. In advance of the show they break up the lines to match the way the actors speak and make sure their timing really matches the live action on the stage. Even if the unthinkable happens and an actor forgets a line they can follow and recover the script and it means they won't give away a punch line or plot too soon.
Audio Description is a great way for anyone who sometimes finds it difficult to see the details of a performance to still enjoy coming to the theatre. If you use television audio description, a magnifier or large print books at home then live audio description improves your theatre visit. When you arrive at the theatre, we will give you personal headphones. Through these, you will hear a professional describer giving a live commentary as the performance unfolds. You can hear the commentary from anywhere in the auditorium.
During the quieter moments, the describer tells you what is happening; from actors’ facial expressions to movements on stage. It’s not intrusive because they only describe what is essential to your enjoyment of the show. Before the performance, there will be a touch tour so you can get to know the set and costumes. There will be a live description of the set, costumes, characters and the visual style of the show 15 to 20 minutes before the start of the performance in the auditorium for you.
Tell the Box Office you will be using the audio description service when you buy your ticket and whether you will be attending the touch tour.
Here is what one audience member has to say:
'Thank you to Veronica and Michael for the superb audio description of Inheritance. The dialogue was very fast moving with very few gaps or pauses but you both did a brilliant job fitting in your description without overlapping the actors’ speech. The productions at the Live Theatre are always thought provoking and because of your description I can mull over the themes and contents of the play for days after. Without the AD service theatre going would not be an enjoyment as so much of the action on stage would be lost to me. Long may the service continue.'
The audio describers you will hear are trained professionals. They take 30 hours to prepare their commentary. It has to fit the style of the show so they work very hard to choose the right words to describe a visual moment. They want to capture how things happen and not just the what. The describers have to practice and edit what they’ve written many times to make sure they can say it in the quiet spaces between moments of on-stage action. Timing is everything.
What will happen when I arrive at the theatre?
You should pick up your personal headphones from the Box Office and the Duty Manager will welcome you to the theatre and let you know the start times of the touch tour and pre-show description.
A laid back approach to noise or movement. Suitable for people with special educational needs.
The describer will lead a touch tour, usually around an hour before the show. This gives you a chance to explore the set, costumes and, sometimes, to meet some of the actors.
After the touch tour you will take your seat in readiness for the pre-show description and show. The describers then go to their description booth or room. They can see and hear everything that is happening in the show but can’t be seen by the audience. Once the performance starts, they read the description into a microphone. It is transmitted into the auditorium using an infra red or radio system, where it is picked up by your headset.
Find out when the next Touch Tour will be