The New Theatre Royal Lincoln is a Grade II listed heritage building. The listed status places some restrictions on changes that can be made to provide access to all areas and to all patrons. However, the theatre does all that it can for access within its means and constantly strives to make improvements. For example, in 2021 the generous financial support of the Culture Recovery Fund Grant enabled us to:
- install a second accessible washroom/toilet at Royal Stalls level that improves on access and facilities offered (e.g. electrical hoist 130kg);
- create a more flexible space in the Royal Stalls to improve on the number and type of wheelchairs that we can accommodate alongside our standard seating;
- open up access to the Royal Stalls bar lounge by installing a platform lift to overcome the step-up to that level; and,
- create access from backstage to the Royal Stalls level of the venue by installing a stair-lift.
We have made provision in our information and/or where possible our physical adjustments for the access needs of those patrons that need to: remain in a wheelchair throughout their visit with us; those that can transfer from a wheelchair or similar mobility ‘vehicle’ to a standard seat, for those with impaired sight or hearing and for those that may be affected by noise and light from performances. We will always welcome requests to accommodate individual access needs that we may not have considered.
Patrons must be able to reach the auditorium independently or with their own carer. Patrons are warned that different levels of the auditorium have varying degrees of difficulty in regards to stairs and layout (see the section on “Theatre Layout and Seating”).
Advance information is essential if we are to properly support access needs of any type. Without advance information we may not be able to provide appropriate assistance from our staff when you arrive or to accommodate your needs. In extreme cases entry may be refused and no refund will be provided.
A visit in person before booking is the very best way to ensure that access needs can be met. If approached, our team will always make the time to show patrons around. Also, our Box Office team will be happy to take a reservation so that you have time to visit the theatre to check access for the show that you have booked. A refund will be given if during a visit to discuss access a reservation is cancelled because it is found that needs cannot be met.
To ensure that access needs can be met, bookings for patrons with accessibility needs can only be made in person at the Box Office or over the telephone. All spaces and seats are reserved or booked on a “first come first served basis”.
The theatre will offer a half-price ticket to a registered ‘essential carer’ for anyone who needs assistance when visiting the theatre. This is one ‘essential carer’ per patron subject to the availability of a seat for the performance being booked by the disabled patron.
Additional carers without a theatre ticket are welcome to wait in the foyer or bar areas during a performance. This need can be notified to our Front of House team on arrival.
Carers must be able to attend to the needs of the patron at all times. The theatre cannot take responsibility for moving patrons whilst seated in their wheelchair or for lifting disabled patrons.
The theatre does not have a car park and this extends to disabled parking. For the location of car parks in the city please see our ‘visiting us’ web page.
Arrival at and Entry to the Theatre
Patrons that have made arrangements with us for their access needs will be contacted by our Box Office team 48 hours in advance of their booked show. The Box Office team will advise where patrons will be met by one of our Front of House team. Typically arrival is 30 minutes before the show starts and the arrival point is the Box Office, but this will depend on how best we can support individual patrons.
Wheelchair Access to the Theatre
Wheelchair access to the auditorium is through the emergency exits at the rear of the Royal Stalls (double-width door space). The doors are accessed from Kings Arm Yard. When wet or during cold weather the lane can be slippery underfoot. There is a small curb to mount.
Wheelchair Spaces alongside Standard Seating
The theatre has spaces in the Royal Stalls to accommodate three standard manual wheelchairs. Subject to checking suitability, as covered earlier, the spaces can also be used flexibly to accommodate motorised chairs and mobility scooters, but in this case fewer spaces will be available. Spaces for standard sized wheelchairs take up the area of two of our standard seats and are designated in our seating plan as seats 1 and 2 in rows L, M and N.
Seats for carers of patrons remaining in their wheelchair are adjacent to the wheelchair spaces, seat numbers are L3, M3 and N3. However, as the theatre fills on a ‘first come, first served’ basis the availability of these seats cannot be guaranteed when booking the wheelchair space.
Arrangements for Patrons Transferring from a Wheelchair to Standard Seating
The theatre does not have seats that that are adapted specifically to ease access for those patrons that can transfer from their wheelchair or have restricted mobility. However, Royal Stalls rows A, AA and D do have a little more leg room than other rows and otherwise seats at the ends of rows may be most suitable.
Patrons are expected to transfer to a seat without assistance from our Front of House team, either by themselves or with the support of their carer.
The Front of House team will store wheelchairs or mobility aids and return these to an agreed place at the end of the performance. The theatre cannot accept responsibility for any valuables left with stored wheelchairs or mobility aids.
Wheelchair Access to Bars and Candy Corner
The theatre has licensed bars at each level of the auditorium. Only the Royal Stalls bar is accessible to wheelchair users, this being by the use of a platform lift. However, the suitability of the platform lift should be discussed with our Box Office team at the time of a reservation or booking.
Candy Corner is our confectionery outlet located in the theatre’s main foyer. Candy Corner is not accessible to wheelchair users.
Storage for Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids
The theatre has very limited space to store wheelchairs or other mobility aids in their standard or collapsed states. Therefore, as covered earlier, it is essential to check at the time of booking that storage needs can be met.
For some of its in-house productions the theatre may provide signed performances for patrons with hearing impairments. However, no systems are installed that generally assist patrons with hearing impairments.
Assistance dogs are welcome but clearly there are some types of performance that would be unsuitable for them. Patrons wanting to bring their assistance dog to the theatre should make this known at the time tickets are booked.
Flashing lights, pyrotechnics and noise
Some performances may include flashing lights, pyrotechnics and the sound may be unusually loud. Although warnings will be provided before a performance commences should any of these be occurring, it is best to check at the time of booking as a refund cannot be made if on arrival for or during the show the performance is found to be unsuitable.
For some of its in-house productions the theatre may provide performances during which flashing lights, pyrotechnics or unusually loud sound will be ‘relaxed’.
There are two accessible toilets/washrooms on the Royal Stalls level, one of which is fitted with a ceiling mounted pulley (max weight 130 kg). The openings to our accessible toilets/washrooms are 74 cm and 81 cm.
Our Front of House team will assist carers to get patrons to and from accessible toilets/washrooms, but they are not permitted to assist in any physical activities.
As covered previously, the exchange of information through a visit prior to attending a booked performance is essential to ensure that the access that is available is appropriate to individual patrons’ needs.
On arrival into the auditorium our Front of House team will explain our emergency procedures to patrons whose access we are supporting. In the event of an emergency the Front of House team will provide direction regards evacuation, but may have other duties that prevent them directly assisting with emergency situations. Therefore, it is important that the patrons are able to react unaided or with the assistance of their carer.
Theatre Layout and Seating
Steps of varying height, depth and number will be encountered when accessing any area of the theatre beyond the Box Office.
The Royal Stalls is the most accessible area of the theatre followed by the Royal Circle. The Royal Balcony is accessed via a long staircase that comprises 50 steps. Due to the nature of the building, we do not have access to the Royal Balcony via a lift.
Seats within the Royal Stalls and Royal Circle are of a standard theatre type comprising rows of fixed seats. Seats have a folding seat pad that allows ease of access along a row. Arm rests on all seats are fixed in position.
Royal Stalls seats are 39cm wide x 42 cm deep, leg room is 24 cm from seat front to the rear of the seat in front. Row D leg room is 29 cm. The front row leg room is very generous. The Royal Stalls is at ground level with a few steps for access. There are no steps inside the auditorium but there are very short slight slopes at auditorium entrances.
Royal Circle seats are 39 cm wide x 42 cm deep. Leg room is 15cm to the top of the seat in front. Patrons will encounter some minor staircases en-route to the Royal Circle. There is a single step between each row once inside the auditorium.
Royal Boxes in the Royal Circle are of the ‘dining chair’ type. The Royal Boxes are more spacious that the main auditorium, but the view of the stage is restricted.
Royal Balcony rearmost row is a single bench; individual spaces are numbered but there is no division between spaces. Other rows are also bench type, but these have individual pads 42 cm wide x 40 cm deep. Leg room in all rows is generous. A safety barrier runs along the front of each row. Depending on personal viewing angle, some patrons may find the safety barriers can restrict their view of the stage. Steps within the Royal Balcony to reach individual rows are steep. Patrons that suffer any difficulties with their mobility or with being at height may find the Royal Balcony challenging.