Improving Accessibility for our Blind and Visually Impaired Audiences

Over the next 12 months The Courtyard will be working directly with Extant to make three touring shows accessible to visually impaired audiences (VIPs).

What we currently do…

Audio Description has become increasingly available for films meaning a high proportion of The Courtyard Cinema’s programme is accessible to VIPs. And over the years, The Courtyard have developed their live show offering to blind and visually impaired audiences with the support of volunteers. The Courtyard Audio Description Association are a group of dedicated volunteers who are specially trained to deliver live audio description to audiences of live shows on our Main House stage.

A lot of factors including time, resources and logistics impact when we can offer these accessible performances. Unfortunately, this means we haven’t always been able to offer a varied programme to our VIPs. That’s why it was so exciting when theatre company Extant – who brought us their accessible “Super Power Panto” in 2023 – approached us to expand our offering.

What’s coming for Accessibility at The Courtyard…

In 2024-2025 we’re thrilled to be partnering with Extant to deliver their project, Enhance-post.

Over the next year, one Studio show per 4-month season will be selected to work directly with Extant. They’ll create an engaging pre-show Touch Tour as well as pithy and detailed programme notes to enhance the experience for our blind and visually impaired customers.

This project is specifically tailored for smaller theatre companies who wouldn’t ordinarily have the money or resources to make their shows accessible. It also includes specific training for the company members and Courtyard staff to ensure that our VIPs have the best experience possible.

The first show selected to be part of post-Enhance at The Courtyard will be Pepper & Honey on Wednesday 8 May, 7.45pm.

The Touch Tour is free and the show is Pay What You Decide which means you can pay what you feel is appropriate when you leave at the end of the show. Tickets are available online and must be booked in advance for both.

Book now for Pepper & Honey and add Touch Tour tickets when you checkout.

Find out more about accessibility at The Courtyard