Access at Capital Theatres

Capital Theatres aim to be accessible to all and we are committed to making your visit to our theatres as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Captions Exhibit in the Festival Theatre foyer

Special Access Exhibition: Captions Speak Louder

The world’s first exhibition on Open Captioning in the Arts is now on display at the Festival Theatre until 30 October.

Created by Stagetext, the deaf-led captioning charity, ‘Captions Speak Louder’ guides you through the history of theatre captioning. Theatre captioning makes performances accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences. It is similar to subtitling on TV or film, but the captions are displayed on screens at the front of the theatre.

The free exhibition explores this history through the stories and memories of the users, the charity’s founders, and the staff and supporters who worked to make the arts accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people over the last 21 years.

Free Talks

Join us on Tuesday 11 or Tuesday 18 October, 6 to 7pm, for a free online talk and discussion about captioning and the exhibition. 

Book Here

Access at Capital Theatres

Capital Theatres aim to be accessible to all and we are committed to making your visit to our theatres as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. See below for our range of services to aid you in accessing our theatres, including:

  • Assistance with Hearing,
  • Audio Description,
  • Touch Tours,
  • British Sign Language Interpretation,
  • Captioning,
  • Relaxed Performances


Wheelchair spaces & parking

There are six wheelchair spaces at the King's Theatre and eight wheelchair spaces at the Festival Theatre, all with adjacent companion seats. Wheelchair users in the studio are able to sit in row A as it's on floor level, rows B backwards are up steps.

We have parking spaces in the Festival Theatre courtyard for patrons with accessible requirements, we also offer a drop off and pick up service. A space, for either service, can be booked in advance by calling Stage Door on 0131 662 1112 or email, including in your email your name, car model, registration, contact phone number and which performance or event you are attending.

If you are attending a performance at The Studio you are also welcome to use the Festival Theatre courtyard parking, and then go round the corner to Potterrow via Nicolson Square to access The Studio.

There is no private parking available at the King's but more information about parking near both of our theatres can be found on our website.

Wheelchair user
Assistance with hearing

The Festival and King's Theatres have Sennheiser infrared systems available in central areas of the auditorium such that headsets can enhance the audio of a performance for hard of hearing patrons. A Sennheiser personal loop system is also available for hearing aid users. Box office will happily advise you on the best seats for reception.

Please note that at some performances, audio equipment, headsets and adapters are in high demand but we will do all we can to accommodate your needs.

Headset and loop systems are unfortunately not currently available in The Studio, though we're working on extending this soon.

Audio Description and Touch Tours

Many of the shows that come to Capital Theatres provide Audio Described performances for those who are visually impaired. This service uses the Sennheiser infrared system such that you can utilise one of our headsets to have the visual elements of the performance described to you throughout.

In conjunction with the Audio Description performances, we also offer touch tours beforehand such that you can touch various elements of the set, props and costumes, to further contextualise the performance.

Use the Audio Description filter on the What's on page to find relevant performance times.

touch tour.jpg
Touch Tour
British Sign Language Interpretation

We generally present sign language interpreted performances on Saturday matinees of week long shows, with the interpreter standing at the front of the stage such that deaf or hard of hearing audience members can follow the spoken narrative alongside the visual elements of the performance.

Seats in the stalls generally provide the best view of the BSL interpreter, and box office can advise of this further in your booking process.

Use the BSL - British Sign Language filter on the What's on page to find relevant performance times.

Paul Belmonte 2.jpg
BSL interpreter

Captioned performances generally take place on Thursday evenings of week long shows and they work similarly to subtitles on a film, with caption screens on either side of the stage with the text appearing as its being spoken by the performers. This function aids deaf or hard of hearing audience members to follow the the spoken narrative alongside the visual elements of the performance.

Use the Captioned filter on the What's on page to find relevant performance times.

Relaxed Performances

Some of our key associate companies including Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and the annual Pantomime create relaxed performances of their large scale productions.

These performances are designed to make you feel welcome, relaxed and well-supported, we’ll have lots of trained staff on hand to help with any access needs, anyone can feel free to make noise and move around the auditorium, we’ll keep the lights on, but dimmed to reduce anxiety, and we’ll provide break out spaces with a live stream of the show so that if people feel the need to leave the auditorium they won’t miss the action.

Use the Relaxed Performances filter on the What's on page to find performances.

FOH Assistance

Throughout your trip to the theatre our front of house staff will be more than happy to help you around the building and with any queries you may have. They will greet you at the entrance, aid your journey around the building, direct you to the nearest accessible toilets, look after assistance dogs while you're in the auditorium and bring you refreshments to your seats if necessary. If there's anything you need whilst in our venues, just ask and we'll be happy to help.

Auditorium Features

At the Festival Theatre the stalls has the best opportunity for leg room. Particularly row R, as there are no seats in front.

All seats at the Festival Theatre have arm rests, but The Studio seats don't have arm rests as these are fold-down bleachers style seats.

Our box office will be happy to answer any further questions regarding other features of our auditorium, they can be contacted by phone 0131 529 6000 or email.

Access brochures

Braille, Audio and Large Text versions of our brochure are available. Please contact the marketing department on 0131 662 1112 to be added to the mailing list.

Find out more about access at Capital Theatres

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