The Play's The Thing is our exciting new interactive exhibition.
The Play’s The Thing has been designed to ensure that all visitors are able to enjoy the exhibition. We do everything we can to meet the specific needs of our visitors and are constantly seeking to improve our service. Our Front of House team are on hand throughout the exhibition to assist you and answer any questions that you may have.
Tickets for disabled people are £4.25. If you require the services of a companion their ticket is also £4.25. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (our specific access booking line is 01789 403 144) or in person at our Box Office.
Location and lift
The Play’s The Thing is located in the Swan Wing of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The ticketed part of the exhibition is spread over two levels.
A lift provides access to both levels of the ticketed exhibition for those who are unable to use stairs. The dimensions of the lift are 1.5m x 7.05m (4ft 9 inches x 2ft 4 inches). The maximum weight that the lift can carry is 400kg in total.
There are 27 narrow steps (3 flights) in the rear stairway used to access level one from the Reading Room on the ground floor. These are well lit, with a hand-rail and with white tread on the edges of the steps.
There are 30 wide carpeted steps (five flights) in the main staircase, used to exit the exhibition and return to the ground floor.
There are three wide steps to access the landing from the exhibition’s exit – these steps are included in the count for the main staircase. There is no level access to the landing, which features an unticketed permanent exhibit.
There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor in the Swan Wing. Alternative accessible toilets are available, please speak with a member of the Front of House team who will be happy to assist.
The exhibition is accessible for wheelchair users, those with buggies or prams, or walkers. If you wish to store any of these during your visit, please speak with a member of the Front of House team who will be happy to assist.
Moving around the exhibition
- All corridors have clearance for wheelchair users and people with buggies. The corridors and spaces between exhibits are 1.5m wide at a minimum.
- There should be several places in the gallery where wheelchair users and ambulant visitors can pass and wheelchair users can turn.
- Heights of all labels and interactive exhibits are within an accessible range.
- Objects in showcases are displayed as low as possible.
- Audio visual content is captioned as standard, and includes some audio description. A device-based Audio Descriptive tour is available - more information below.
- There is British Sign Language interpretation on the introductory video and on various audio visual exhibits in the exhibition. An app-based BSL tour is also available - more information below.
- Large print brochures are available
- The Rialto Bridge mural and audio installation outside the exhibition is available in large print booklets, including all images and audio transcriptions
- Audio content is available with printed transcriptions
- Induction loops are available
- Highlighted objects have labels with tactile samples
Audio Descriptive Tour
This self-led tour is for visually impaired visitors. The audio tour describes a range of exhibition highlights, played on an easy-to-use handheld device which can be used as a wand (held up to the ear) or with headphones. Please ask a member of staff who will provide you with a handheld device and instructions.
British Sign Language tour
This self-led app-based tour is for BSL users. There are 10 RSC SIGN labels in and around the exhibition. Download the app, point your device at the label and our signer Clare will tell you all about the history of theatre making at the RSC. Watch the video below to find out more.
Simply download the free Zappar app (visit any playstore), open the app and point your device at the label. Try it now - point your device at the blue circular symbol above.
If the lift is rendered inaccessible in the event of an evacuation, we will deploy an evacuation chair to take those who are unable to use the stairs down the main staircase (30 steps, 5 flights). The evacuation chair can be used for those in manual and powered wheelchairs. It cannot be used for those who are not in a wheelchair.
For more general information about access and assisted performances, visit our Access pages.