Last December, Cast in Doncaster presented the UK’s ﬁrst groundbreaking, fully British Sign Language (BSL) integrated pantomime. A smashhit Jack and the Beanstalk featured a helpful signing fairy, who signed every performance and was part of the action so that nobody missed a moment.
This year, Cast’s going all out to make its Christmas treat the most accessible festive experience in Yorkshire, with two relaxed performances, fully accessible public spaces and a Changing Places room, 24,000 Deaf, disabled and non-disabled people are expected to come together to share in a magical family tradition.
The Doncaster theatre, which saw over 90,000 people pass through its doors last year, became the ﬁrst UK theatre to present a fully BSL integrated commercial pantomime. This year’s panto, Beauty and the Beast, which opens on 1 December 2017, will also be fully BSL integrated and as a result, thousands of people will be able to enjoy their annual festive tradition together as a family – and not just on a quiet weekday matinee.
This year, the venue is also presenting two relaxed performances (14 & 29 December) open to anyone who might beneﬁt from adapted lighting and sound levels or space to move around the auditorium during the performance, particularly people with autism or learning disabilities.
Cast also boasts Yorkshire’s only fully accessible Changing Places theatre toilet with a ceiling track hoist and height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench. Featuring plenty of space to accommodate a disabled person and up to two carers, this well thought-out facility ensures disabled or older people and their families can enjoy a night at the theatre in comfort and with one less thing to worry about.
Doncaster is a borough where levels of disability and work limiting illness are 23% higher than the UK average, and has the largest Deaf community outside London. Cast’s pantomime is accessible for a diverse range of disabled people and this progressive venue also considers the high cost of having a disability, by subsidising free carer tickets and offering discounts for disabled people on every ticket.
It’s the attention to detail which sets Cast apart as the gold standard for accessibility in theatre. No other theatre in Yorkshire has a Changing Places room and that’s something special to shout about. What’s amazing is that people travel from all over the country to see Cast’s pantomime because it means families can share a magical family treat on the same terms with their loved ones. It’s all about giving people the dignity and equal opportunities they deserve, so whether you’re Deaf, or disabled, or able-bodied, you can be conﬁdent that Cast can support your needs.
Looking ahead, Cast is investing in further addressing the public’s immediate care needs by using 360º mapping technology, improved signage and funding more accessible services
More: Cast’s pantomime, Beauty and the Beast runs 1 – 31 December 2017 at Cast Theatre in Doncaster.
Tickets start from £16 and are available now at: www.castindoncaster.com or call the box ofﬁce: 01302 303 959.