Our aim at The Theatre is to ensure that our beautiful venue is open to everyone, disabled, non-disabled, people of any background, gender, race and faith, to enjoy and use. We want everyone to feel welcome and safe. We are happy to make any reasonable adjustment we can to make your visit more enjoyable.


Menu of Subheadings: 

Introuction

Access Register 

Mobility 

Hearing 

Assistance Dogs 

Visual 

Relaxed Events 

What to Expect when you come to the Theatre: a Visual Story 

Familiarisation Visits 

Toilets 

Carers & Personal Assistants 


Introduction

If there is anything you’d like to talk with us about, or any access requirements you’d like assistance with please get in touch anytime. Please click here to email us or call our Box Office (tickets) team on  01608 642350 

The information below may be of use to wheelchair users, people with any form of restricted mobility, hearing or visual impairment, neurodiverse people and people with learning disabilities. If any of these apply to you please click here to join our Access Register to get access to specific tickets and to help and assistance from Box Office. 

This info can also help if it’s your first time coming to the Theatre. You might also be interested if you are attending with a pushchair or toddler. If you like to come and go throughout the performance or use the loo at any point then check out our Relaxed Performances. 

Access information below is for our theatre and cinema in Spring Street and Goddards Lane, Chipping Norton. For events held offsite at other venues, or events not hosted by The Theatre but available for sale via our box office, please consult any access information on the event page and the venue page for each venue. If you need any more info on a specific event please click here to email us or call our Box Office team on 01608 642350. 

To read The Theatre’s full Access Policy please click here


Access Register:

We want to make your experience at The Theatre as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. To do this we may need to know a little more about you and what we can do to help. The Theatre's Access Register is free to join and open to anyone who has an access need you would like to let us know about.

Joining the scheme gives you access to booking wheelchair spaces and companion seats online if needed. If you need an essential companion/carer to accompany you so that you can safely attend a performance, the Access Register can enable you to book a complimentary (free) seat for that person online. We can safely store your seating preferences and any assistance requirements on your account, so that when you book our staff will be ready and waiting to assist you in any way you may need. 

We will also send you regular updates about forthcoming productions and assisted performances at the Theatre.  

To join the Access Register, you can either: 

Fill out the form below and email it to the Box Office here 

Or call the Box Office on 01608 642350 and we will complete the form with you over the phone. 

After this, we will review the form and a member of our team will get in touch with you. We can phone you, or send an email, or use your preferred means of communicating. 

Access Register Form


Mobility

Wheelchair Access

Booking a Wheelchair space 

All our performances have spaces for wheelchair users. We have four designated wheelchair spaces in the auditorium, each with a pair of companion seats next to them. We hold these back for every performance and they can be booked via calling Box Office on 01608 642350, or online by wheelchair users on our Access Register. If you are booking online, please remember to sign in before booking – you can sign in here. Should the event sell out, the companion seats will go on sale to the general public if not booked. 

Wheelchair spaces are located here: 

You can see their location on our welcome video at 5 minutes & 15 seconds in.

Transferring

Please note that booking a wheelchair space does not contain a seat. If you prefer to have a seat to transfer into please let Box Office know when booking your tickets. If you would prefer to transfer, you would need to be able to walk as far as the front doors in case of an evacuation, as there is nowhere in the auditorium to store a wheelchair.

Accessing to & inside The Theatre: level entry points

To get a good sense of the building and access to it, we recommend watching our visual walk through of the Theatre, and how to access it from the nearest disabled parking bay.

 

 

Level entry access to the Theatre is through our Bar door, located on Spring Street next to the main Theatre doors. From there, there is level access to the auditorium stalls seating area. Both the bar and the ticket collection desk are available on level access and have drop counters. The accessible toilet is accessed through the bar area. 

Sadly, only the bar area and theatre stalls have level access - there are no lifts in our period building, so the auditorium balcony, The Gallery, The Space and The Rehearsal Room can currently only be accessed via a staircase. 

To access the daytime Box Office in Goddards Lane, there is level access from the street but the steep camber of the road and many ridges should be noted. We are very happy to come out and assist you with your visit. Please just call us on 01608 642350 and we will come outside. 

Please note that accessibility of the public area leading to The Theatre is restricted by paving quality and street camber. We recommend the above film to gain a full picture of the approach. 

Walkers and Mobility Aid Access

We want to make sure our Theatre is as accessible as possible, whilst noting that it is an old building with narrow aisles. 

So that we can book you the best tickets for your needs, please let Box Office know of any aids you might bring with you when booking. 

In the Theatre space the narrow aisles must be kept clear for fire safety. This means that any walkers or mobility aids (other than sticks) must be stored in the Bar area during the performance. To ensure your safety in the event of fire, this means you should be able to enter the auditorium (a distance up to 25 metres) without your mobility aid. If this is fine for you, please speak to one of our Ushers on arrival, who will help you with this. 

If this is not possible for you, we will book a wheelchair space for you, and you may either bring a wheelchair or use our small folding wheel chair to access your space. Please note, as we have a limited number of folding wheel chairs it is essential to let our Box Office know when booking that you want to reserve a folding wheel chair. Folding wheel chairs require the aid of a carer to manage them, so please do bring a carer and let the team know that you need a carer ticket alongside yours. If you need to attend solo please let the Box Office know and we will try to source a volunteer support worker for you to support your use of the folding wheel chair. 

 

Getting to The Theatre and Blue Badge Parking

For the best explanation of routes to and inside The Theatre, we recommend watching our visual walk through of The Theatre, and how to access it from the nearest disabled parking bay.

 

Step-free Access 

Step-free access to The Theatre is through our Bar door, located on Spring Street next to the main Theatre doors. From there, there is level access to the auditorium stalls seating area, bar, ticket collection and toilets. There is a drop kerb near the Goddards Lane side of Spring Street for access, but please note that the pavement is narrow and that it is not level, with a slight slope down towards the road. 

If you are accessing the daytime Box Office on Goddards Lane, please note that the road is situated on a hill with a steep slope, and that the pavement and road surface are a little uneven. The drop kerb to access the pavement from the road is at the top of the hill, near the A44 main road through town. If you need any in-person assistance from the Box Office and it is not accessible to you, please just give us a call on 01608 642350 and we will pop out. 

Parking 

The Theatre is situated on Spring Street, which is a narrow residential road. Unfortunately, due to this there is very limited parking directly outside the building. Outside the auditorium entrance there are double yellow lines, but you can drop off and walk someone to the bar/pick up here if mobility is an issue. Further up Spring Street there are a few spaces available, but please note it is often filled with residents’ cars. 

The nearest disabled parking bays are located in the town centre car park, outside bookshop Jaffe & Neal. For their location from the bay to The Theatre please see the route in our video

There are a further six disabled parking bays in the New Street long stay car park which is a 5 minute walk away at a brisk pace. The Albion Street car park is a 6 minute walk away at a brisk pace and does not have any disabled parking bays. For more details of the car parks please consult: www.westoxon.gov.uk/parking-travel-and-visitors/where-to-park

Public Transport 

Our nearest Bus stops are West Street stops B and C. You can check bus times for these stops at bustimes.org. 

West Street is a short walk from The Theatre. For the most accessible route we recommend walking along the High Street, turning left through the short stay car park and right at Jaffe & Neal book shop until you hit Spring Street. The majority of the walk can be seen in our video . At a brisk pace it takes 5 minutes. Please note that there are kerbs, one road to cross and you will be travelling along a quiet road for part of the journey. 

Push Chairs & Buggies 

We have lots of performances for children at The Theatre and expect that many audience members will be bringing buggies. You are very welcome to bring prams, push chairs and buggies, but we do ask that you leave these in the bar area during the performance. For fire safety we cannot allow buggies inside the auditorium as the entry and exit aisles are narrow. 

Please note that our step-free access door on Spring Street is not wide enough to accommodate a large double buggy, which would need to be brought up the steps into our wider auditorium entrance doors. 


Hearing 

Assisted Listening System 

Our assisted listening system offers enhanced audio, through a hearing loop, at every screening, performance or talk in the auditorium. These can assist those who are partially deaf or hard of hearing but are also helpful for anyone who would like amplified sound. 

Our hearing loops can be used with a set of headphones. We have over-ear or ear-bud headphones available which are sanitised between every use, or you are welcome to bring your own headphones from home. Please note they will need a regular 3.5mm headphone plug, not an Apple product plug or be wireless/bluetooth. The hearing loops may also be used directly with hearing aids. Simply adjust to your T-setting, or for hearing aids without a T-setting adjust as you would to use any induction loop. 

We recommend viewing our short video on how to use the assisted listening system here:

Each assisted listening system will come with a guide on how to use them, which can also be seen here.

If you know you would like to use a hearing loop, please let our Box Office team know when booking and we will reserve it and have it ready for you at the Ticket Collection desk. However, you are not required to book and if you decide you would like to try one on arrival that’s no problem. Just head to the Ticket collection desk and ask for a hearing loop, and we will set one up for you. 

If you would like to come and try out the system before attending a show we would be very happy to welcome you. Please give our Box Office a call on 01608 642350 or get in touch via email here. 

Signed PerformancesSigned Performances

When we are able to, we offer BSL signed performances of live shows. We strive to always offer a signed performance for our longer runs, including our annual Pantomime and any Chipping Norton Theatre productions. All signed performances in our venues will feature the signed performance icon, as shown above. The signer should be visible from all seats in the auditorium but if you are able to, please let Box Office know you would like to access the BSL interpretation when booking so we can assure you have the best possible sight lines. 

Closed Captions Captioned Performances

When we receive funding to make it possible, we also offer captioned performances of live shows. All captioned performances in our venues will feature the CC icon, as shown above. The caption box should be visible from all seats in the auditorium but if you are able to, please let Box Office know you would like to access the captions when booking so we can assure you have the best possible sight lines. 


Working Dogs Assistance Dogs 

Assistance dogs are welcome at The Theatre and can be taken into the auditorium during the performance or looked after by a member of staff. Please advise the Box Office upon booking of any particular requirements you may wish us to make to accommodate your dog. 


Visual 

Large Print Brochures

Should you require a large print version of our brochure, please contact the Box Office who will be happy to send you either a physical or electronic copy. Please note that there may be a very small wait, as large print brochures are created upon request. If you have any bespoke requirements for your print please let us know and we will do our very best to accommodate you. 

 

Audio Description Audio-Described events

Many of our films are available with audio description for those who are blind or partially sighted. This can be received through a headset which we can provide you with. Please check in advance with Box Office whether a film has audio description available. As often as we are able to, we also offer audio described performances of live shows. We strive to always offer an audio described performance for our longer runs, including our annual Pantomime and any Chipping Norton Theatre productions. These performances use a live narrator to describe the action on stage, as well as describing costumes, set and any visual effects. The narrator cannot be seen or heard by the remainder of the audience, and the production remains unchanged, but you can use headsets to hear their descriptions. All audio-described performances in our venues will feature the AD icon, as shown above. 

Audio Description via our Assisted Listening System 

Audio Description is provided via our assisted listening system. For full details on how the system works please click here. Our hearing loops can be used with a set of headphones. We have over-ear or ear-bud headphones available which are sanitised between every use, or you are welcome to bring your own headphones from home. Please note they will need a regular 3.5mm headphone plug, not an Apple product plug. You can choose whether to listen purely to audio description or to have the sound from onstage broadcast into your headphones as well.  

We recommend viewing our short video on how to use the assisted listening system here: 

 

Each assisted listening system will come with a guide on how to use them, including which channels to use to access audio description, which can also be seen here. 

If you know you would like to access audio description, please let our Box Office team know when booking and we will reserve a hearing loop for you and have it ready for you at the Ticket Collection desk. However, you are not required to book and if you decide you would like to try audio description on arrival that’s no problem. Just head to the Ticket collection desk and ask for a hearing loop, and we will set one up for you. 

If you would like to come and try out the system before attending a show we would be very happy to welcome you. Please give our Box Office a call on 01608 642350 or get in touch via email here. 

Touch Tours 

Whenever we can, we will also offer a touch tour of the set in advance of the performance. Touch tours are guided opportunities using audio description to explore props and costumes and where possible also the set and actors voices. They give extra details to help audience members with limited sight engage with the performance. We will indicate on the Event page whether an audio described performance will have a pre-show touch tour available. When booking please let the Box Office know you would like to attend the touch tour and we will reserve a space for you. 

Audio Brochure

Should you wish to receive an audio version of our brochure please contact the Box Office who will be happy to send you a recorded copy. Please note that Audio Brochures are not pre-recorded and are created upon request, so there will be a small wait. We will strive to send the recording as quickly as possible and are happy to talk you through the brochure and any events of interest in the meanwhile. 


Relaxed Events

What is a Relaxed performance or screening? 

We offer a range of performances and screenings that are designed to offer a more relaxed performance environment. There will be a relaxed attitude to noise and movement, and audience members are free to come in and out of the auditorium during the performance. You can find out more about relaxed performances in our welcome video at the 5 minutes 40 second mark. 

 

To create a more inclusive sensory environment the auditorium lights are kept on throughout the performance, the doors remain open, and we will soften loud noises and avoid sudden or surprising moments.  

For anyone who might benefit from them, we have Twiddle Muffs available at Box Office. Twiddle Muffs provide visual, tactile and sensory stimulation whilst also keeping hands warm. 

A picture of twiddle muffs.

At Relaxed Performances we keep things low-key and do not play music in the bar area. We also have a Break Out Space available. This is a quiet space with access to natural light. Please note that the Break Out space is accessed via two flights of stairs. 

At relaxed performances, we serve complimentary tea and coffee in the bar area, and tickets for carers are free.  

Who are they for? 

Relaxed performances might be of special interest for people who find a standard theatre environment stressful. This might include people who are neurodivergent, people living with dementia or anxiety. However, there are many other reasons you might like to come to a relaxed performance. We find that relaxed performances can relieve anxiety for those who might need to access the toilet multiple times throughout a show, or for parents who are worried whether their child will be scared in a dark auditorium.  

All are welcome at a relaxed performance, and all behaviours and needs are accepted, and differences are celebrated. 

Upcoming Relaxed performances


Visual Story

Our very best explanation of what a visit to The Theatre will be like can be found in our video here: 

 

If you prefer a printable guide, we also have a Visual Story to support your visit and give you a sense of what to expect when you come here. You can explore or download our Visual Story here

For our in-house productions and pantomime, we provide a Visual Story to precede your visit and help give you a sense of what you expect when you come here. You can explore our current panto, Dick Whittingotn Visual Story here:

Visual Story

If you would like a physical copy of the Visual Story sent to you, please contact our Box Office Team on 01608 642350 and we will be happy to help. 

Familiarisation Visits 

Familiarisation visits can be helpful if it is your first time coming to The Theatre or if attending might cause any anxiety. Our video can help a lot, but we know there is nothing like seeing it in person. If this is the case for you or your child, we would love to welcome you to the building for a hosted familiarisation visit. 

Our Box Office team will organise a time for you to visit, and let you know how to get to us and where we will meet you. If useful, we can arrange to meet at our step-free access Spring Street entrance. When you arrive, one of our friendly team will show you around. You will get to see the auditorium including your specific seat, if already booked, as well as our other facilities – ticket collection, bar, toilets and other spaces. Our staff member will walk you through the process of coming to The Theatre and will be able to answer any questions you or your family might have about your visit or about the performance. 

To book a familiarisation visit, please send us a message or call us on 01608 642350 and we will organise this. 

Accessible Toilets

There is an accessible toilet near the bar and stalls in the front of house area. The toilet has one drop down grab bar on the right hand side, and a wall mounted smaller bar on the left hand side. You can see a tour of our Accessible toilet at 3 minutes 30 seconds in to our video here.

If you are using a larger motorised wheelchair you might find it easier to get to the Accessible Toilet via the auditorium entrance. Enter via Door One, and progress down the aisle and exit via the door marked ‘Toilets’ on your left. You can see the route in our welcome video at the 6 minutes & 45 second mark. Click here to view the video.

The accessible toilet also contains baby change facilities including a drop down smaller seat, a potty and a drop down changing table. We recognise that this toilet is there for all who need it - not all disabilities are visible. 

This toilet is inclusive and available for use by all genders and by anybody who might need a private toilet area. 

Toddler Toilets

We have toddler friendly toilet seats installed in our Front of House toilets. Simply lift the yellow lid for a toddler size seat, and the white lid for an adult sized seat. We also have a potty in the Disabled/Baby Changing toilet.

Carers and Personal Assistants

The Theatre will provide a free ticket for a Carer or Personal Assistant when the visitor’s disability or impairment means that they wouldn’t be able to attend the event without the active support of another person. This will apply to all events at the theatre or promoted by the theatre, but not necessarily to external events where tickets are sold via The Theatre Box Office. This does not include parents accompanying children except in the case of access requirements. To access free carer tickets please join our Access Register here. If you have any questions or need any help please give our Box Office a call on 01608 642350.

 

We're looking forward to welcoming you to The Theatre soon.