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A Playhouse for Everyone

Published on 07 March 2019 04:27 PM

Oxford Playhouse’s vision is ‘A Playhouse for Everyone’. We caught up with EMILY LISTER, Membership Relations Coordinator at Oxford Playhouse, to find out about their Community Tickets Scheme.

“For 80 years it has been our aim to bring the very best of British and international theatre to Oxfordshire. We are committed to ensuring that our theatre, programme and activities are accessible to all, with reduced ticket prices, an increased number of accessible performances, and touring more work around the county. However, we are aware that, even then, there are some people who might find a trip to their local theatre more challenging than most.

One way that we are making it a bit easier for groups to come to our theatre is through our Community Tickets Scheme. Every year, we give away up to 2,000 free tickets to local community groups and charities in Oxfordshire. In 2018, we gave away 1,840 tickets, including a tremendous 1,235 tickets for our Christmas pantomime, Dick Whittington and his Cat. The whole cast and crew were elated that so many groups could come to cheer and clap Dick Whittington on his adventures! We were also very grateful to our audience who helped us to raise nearly £8,000 to support the scheme. In 2019, we will give away community tickets again for our next pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.

We were delighted to give 25 tickets to Dementia Oxfordshire for a relaxed performance of Dick Whittington and his Cat. Relaxed performances are perfect for anyone who might benefit from a more relaxing environment where the auditorium lights are kept on, some loud noises and strobe lights are removed from the show, the audience can make as much noise as they like and can freely come and go as they please. We were all so thrilled to hear that the group from Dementia Oxfordshire had a nice time and enjoyed the show.

We are exploring ways that we can make our theatre and work more accessible for people living with dementia, including the possibility of producing dementia-friendly performances in the future. We are currently working with Dementia Oxfordshire to start a “Matinee group”. This group would come to the Playhouse for tea, coffee and sandwiches and for an informal pre-show talk with staff about that afternoon’s performance. Through the project, we hope that people living with dementia can continue to find enjoyment and engage with the arts.”

For more information about access at Oxford Playhouse, or to request a brochure for upcoming shows, please call Oxford Playhouse’s Ticket Office on 01865 305 305.