Doncaster setting the Yorkshire standard for accessible theatre

Cast in Doncaster is to present for the second year running its ground-breaking fully British Sign Language (BSL) integrated pantomime. With two relaxed performances, fully accessible public spaces and a Changing Places room, 24 thousand deaf, disabled and non-disabled people are expected to come together to share in a magical family tradition this December.

The Doncaster theatre, which saw over 90 thousand people pass through its doors last year, became the first UK theatre to present a fully BSL integrated commercial pantomime in 2016. 2017’s panto Beauty and the Beast, which opens on 1 December will also be fully BSL integrated and as a result, thousands of people can enjoy their annual festive tradition together as a family – and not just on a quiet weekday matinee! 

This year the venue is also presenting two Relaxed Performances in December open to anyone who might benefit from adapted lighting and sound levels or space to move around the auditorium during the performance, particularly those with autism and learning disabilities.

Cast also boasts Yorkshire’s only fully accessible Changing Places theatre toilet with a ceiling track hoist and height-adjustable adult sized changing bench. Featuring plenty of space to accommodate a disabled person and up to two carers, this well thought-out facility ensures disabled or older people and their families can enjoy a night at the theatre in comfort with one less thing to worry about. 

Doncaster is a borough where levels of disability and work limited illness are 23% higher than the UK average, and the largest deaf community outside London. Cast’s pantomime is accessible for a diverse range of disabilities and this progressive venue also considers the high cost of having a disability, by subsidising free carer tickets and offering discounts for disabled people on every ticket.

Tommy Savage, Cast’s House Manager comments:

‘It’s the attention to detail which I think sets us apart as the gold standard for accessibility in theatre. No other theatre in Yorkshire offers what we do, and that’s something special to shout about. What’s amazing is that we’ve seen people travel from all over the country to see our pantomime because it means families can share a magical family treat on the same terms with their loved ones. It’s all about giving people the dignity and equal opportunities they deserve, so whether you're deaf, or disabled, or you're not disabled, you can be confident that Cast can support your needs.’ 

Looking ahead, Cast is investing in further addressing the public’s immediate care needs by using 360 mapping technology, improved signage and funding more accessible services. 

www.castindoncaster.co.uk

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