Accessibility | Stephen Joseph Theatre
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We want everyone to enjoy their visit to the SJT. We work hard to break down the barriers of exclusion and make it easier for disabled people and those with additional needs to enjoy our space and be able to join in.

We offer a range of accessible performances. To find out what's coming up, visit the What's On page and select the relevant filter.

To find out more about our seating and the different accessible performances and services we offer, please scroll down.

There are four sets of double doors at our entrance. The set furthest to the left has a ramp - the other three have a small step in front of them. All four doors are manual glass doors.

Read more about how accessible our building is below, there is:

  • Level access to the Box Office and accessible toilets

  • Telecoil induction loops in both auditoria for customers with hearing aids

  • A wheelchair lift to the Shop

  • Passenger lift access to the Round and McCarthy auditoria

  • Designated wheelchair spaces in both theatres, accessible from the lift and next to a seat for your companion

  • Front row level access available for many shows on request

Please note: access to many seats in the Round and the McCarthy involves climbing or descending stairs. This document shows pictures of the auditoriums and has handrails marked in red.

We try to accommodate all access requirements, but please let us know as soon as possible, ideally at least 24 hours before you arrive. If you've any queries please call us on 01723 370541 or email us.

Access Requirement Register

This is a free service enabling customers with access requirements to easily and quickly book the seats they need, including online bookings when those seats might otherwise not be available. For more details please click here.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance Dogs are welcome to stay with you in the auditorium or can be looked after by a member of staff. Please inform the Box Office if you are bringing a dog.


If you have access requirements, you and one carer (if needed) can purchase tickets at the lowest price currently available for your chosen performance.

Please click here for information about show content and age guidance.

Changing Places Toilets

The closest Changing Places toilet to the SJT is located at The Street - full details here.

Seat dimensions

The Round: Seat widths range from 42-44cm. All seats except the back row have armrests which cannot be moved. The back row doesn't have any armrests - the seats are raised with a cushioned barrier you can lean forwards onto. The Round is auditorium with blue seats in the pictures.

The McCarthy: Seat widths are 45cm and all seats have armrests which cannot be moved. The McCarthy is the auditorium with red seats in the pictures.

Aisles and staircases are marked on our seating plans. If you have any questions please email our Box Office team who can advise on specific seats.

Chilled performances

These performances allow for noise and movement in the auditorium, as well as re-entry for anyone who may need time away from the performance.

All performances of our Christmas show for under sixes are Chilled.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact our Box Office team.

Audio-description and assistive listening

We have both a telecoil induction loop and a Dolby Fidelio system. Dolby Fidelio allows both audio description and assistive listening. Fidelio units are available from the kiosk for a £5 returnable deposit, and you can either use the headphones provided or your own.

We have an Audio Described performance of all SJT-produced shows, and also offer Audio Description on films whenever it is available.

Open captioning

For performances: The spoken words and sounds effects on stage are displayed as text on a small screen. Please notify the Box Office when you book that you need a seat with a view of the captioning screen.

For films: Where possible we will programme open captioned screenings of films for Deaf or hard of hearing customers.

Signed performances

Some performances have a sign language interpreter translating the show into British Sign Language. Please notify the Box Office when booking as there will be certain seats that have the best view of the interpreter.

Dementia-friendly performances

We're proud to be dementia-friendly and work with our local Dementia Action Alliance and those living with dementia. There may be technical adaptations to the show, flexible seating options and a relaxed attitude to audience responses and movement in the auditorium. We provide a quiet room, clear visual markers and signage, and additional staff to sensitively and respectfully welcome those living with dementia and their supporters.

Relaxed performances

These are designed for anyone who would benefit from a less formal, more supportive atmosphere such as people on the autism spectrum, those with sensory or communication disorders, those with learning disabilities and families with babies. It’s fine to make noise, move around or leave the auditorium. Relaxed performances may vary, but most will have an introduction to the actors and the characters they'll be playing, an explanation of any special effects used, loud or sudden sound effects reduced and the lights left on low so it's never completely dark.

Ear Defenders

We have ear defenders which can be borrowed free of charge from the theatre. Please ask at Box Office and you can collect them from the kiosk in our Upper Foyer.

Recite Me

We use Recite Me software to make our website more accessible. You can launch this by clicking the 'Accessibility Tools' link which is on the top right of all of our webpages.

For guidance on how to use Recite Me please follow the link below.

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