The theatre has six on-site parking bays for the priority use of patrons who are using our disabled spaces. A free car park entry token and permit is sent out to such patrons who request the facility at the time of booking, with the tickets for the performance.
If any of these spaces are still available on the day of the performance, they will be offered to disabled badge-holders on a first-come, first-served basis (whether by telephone or in person).
In addition to the on-site bays, there are five public disabled parking spaces in Suffolk Road to the right of the clock-tower and further spaces are available in the town centre and on the lower level of the Orchards Shopping Centre Car Park.
Please note that, due to health and safety reasons, our staff are unable to assist disabled patrons in and out of their transport or mobility equipment.
Guests with access needs who wish to dine in The Restaurant can be accommodated in the lower foyer. Please inform a member of the team at the time of booking.
Inside The Theatre
There is wheelchair/level access to the stalls, lower bar/café and disabled toilets, via a ramp to the right of the main entrance. Our staff at the lower café/bar will gladly assist those patrons who have difficulty directly accessing our Ticket Office. All of our stairs have handrails except those in the auditorium. Please note the Orchard Theatre does not have any lifts.
Most of the seating within the auditorium is of the traditional raked amphitheatre style with steps to each row. In particular, the upper circle seating and steps are high and steep without handrails. Customers with mobility difficulties may wish to avoid this area.
Wheelchair users are accommodated in six licensed spaces, three each side of the front stalls, adjacent to ramped emergency exits. Additional seating is provided next to these spaces for a companion.
As the use of motorised mobility scooters in the busy public areas of the theatre may pose a hazard, disabled customers who are unable to access the theatre by other means must inform the Ticket Office at the time of booking or (where tickets have not been pre-booked) immediately upon arrival. Our staff will then be able to provide those customers with information regarding the safe use of their scooter in the theatre. Customers who do not need to enter the theatre on their mobility scooter are able to park them outside.
The Orchard Theatre reserves the right to refuse admission to any customer, where it is believed by the Duty Manager that, at such time, admission would contravene the conditions of the licence and/or pose a higher than acceptable risk to public safety.
Patrons who require particular seating arrangements in order to accommodate difficulties they may have in attending performances should contact the Ticket Office.
Patrons and their carers/assistants are welcome to visit the theatre prior to attending a performance in order to familiarize themselves with the theatre's layout. These visits can be arranged by contacting the Duty Manager on 01322 220099.
The Ticket Office is briefed on the style of performances in case either a patron or their assistant require further information as to its suitability for that patron prior to deciding whether to book.
Information is offered in good faith. However please be aware that the creative elements of a live performance may not have been finalised at the time of booking and may even be changed during the performance day.
Warning notices advising of the use of stroboscopic lighting effects and pyrotechnic explosives are displayed in the entrance foyer on the day of the performances concerned.
Our disabled access toilet is now operated by a radar key.
The theatre has installed two systems to help those with impaired hearing.
Firstly, the theatre is equipped with an infra-red audio enhancement system. Both infrared headphone receivers and necklace style induction loop transceivers (which work in tandem with an existing hearing aid set to "T") are available and can be pre-ordered when the initial booking is made and then collected from the Ticket Office before the performance commences. No fee is charged for the use of these receivers although a £5 refundable deposit is required.
Secondly, the theatre is equipped with an induction loop system which can be used by those with hearing aids. In order to use the system, a patron should set their hearing aid to the 'T' position once inside the auditorium. The system works best if the patron is seated in the centre of the auditorium and so patrons who wish to use this service should inform the Ticket Office at the time of booking so that a suitable seat can be found.
For loud music concerts these systems may not be suitable. The Ticket Office is able to provide advice as to whether these systems may be suitable in respect of any particular show.
These systems are regularly checked to ensure that they are operating correctly. However, in the unlikely event that you experience any difficulty, please report the matter to a member of staff.