Following its £16m refurbishment earlier this year Hull New Theatre has re-opened with improved accessibility for all.  An important part of this is their programme of accessible performances, which includes Captioned Performances and BSL Interpreted Performances for deaf and hearing impaired patrons, Audio Described Performance and Touch Tours for blind and visually impaired patrons, and Relaxed Performances for those with a learning disability, Down’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Condition or sensory and communication disorders and their families.p

Captioned Performances give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people access to live theatre shows by providing captions similar to television subtitles. The performers words appear on screen as they are spoken or sung. Where possible caption units will be positioned either side of the stage, therefore for the best view customers are advised to sit mid centre stalls. Captioned Performances will be held for Hamlet on Wednesday 14 February at 7.15pm, Jersey Boys on Saturday 3 March at 2.30pm and The Play That Goes Wrong on Saturday 26 May at 2.30pm.

BSL Interpreted Performances are aimed at people who are Deaf or Hearing Impaired. Trained describers usually stand to one side of the stage, to interpret the script and language used by the performers at the same time it is being performed. Performances are described using British Sign Language. BSL Interpreted Performances will be held for Hamlet on Friday 16 February at 7.15pm, The Play That Goes Wrong on Wednesday 23 May at 7.30pm and Cinderella on Wednesday 12 December at 7pm.

Audio Described Performances convey in vivid language (fitted between the dialogue) the visual elements of a performance that a blind or partially sighted person might otherwise miss.  It is listened to through a discreet stethoset receiver so the performance can be enjoyed with sighted friends and family. There will be an Audio Described Performance of Hamlet on Saturday 17 February at 1.45pm. There will also be a Touch Tour before the performance, offering the opportunity for people to explore the stage, set, costumes, props and often to meet cast members.

Relaxed performances are specifically designed to welcome people with a learning disability, Down’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Condition or sensory and communication disorders and their families. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement and small changes to the lighting and sound effects. Following the success of the first Relaxed Performance of Peter Pan last year, there will be a Relaxed Performance of this year’s pantomime, Cinderella, on Thursday 13 December at 7pm.