We want to make everything we do accessible to all our audiences, and are constantly seeking to find new and effective ways of breaking down barriers to enable attendance by the widest range of people.



We offer Audio Described, Captioned, BSL interpreted and Relaxed performances.



A man and a woman on a Touch Tour with an Audio Describer, holding a large plant
Photo by Stewart Hemley © RSC Browse and license our images

Audio Described Performances Partially Sighted Icon
Audio described performances

Audio description is a live commentary giving details of all the visual aspects of a production. The commentary is interspersed with the actors' dialogue and is delivered via radio headsets, which are loaned free of charge from the Cloakroom in the main theatres.

Headsets are also available for the Studio Theatre. Please ask a member of staff if you need them. 

At audio described performances, before the play begins you can hear an introduction to the production which gives details of the set, costumes and characters. Alternatively you can listen to these in advance - they are available in the following ways:

  • A CD of the notes can be sent to your home - please ask for this service when you book your tickets or email access@rsc.org.uk
  • Download mp3 or Microsoft Word files of the introductions on the individual show pages of this website

Please note that while you do not need to be attending a specific audio described performance to make use of the introductory notes, they will usually only be available from a few days before the first audio described performance of any given production

Touch Tours

These allow you to get close to the set, costumes and props used in the play. During a tour, the audio describer will guide you through important props and character costumes used in the production. These tours are free - to book a place please call 01789 403436.

Forthcoming performances

A caption board in the theatre, with text

Captioned Performances Caption Icon
Captioned Performances

We offer captioned performances for all RSC productions. Captioning is similar to television subtitles and gives people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing access to live performance. The actors' words appear on an LED caption unit placed next to the stage or in the set, at the same time as they are spoken or sung.  It is important when booking for a captioned performance that you tell the Box Office so that they can allocate a seat for you where you can see the caption box. 

Forthcoming performances

British Sign Language Interpreted Performances

British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted performances are designed to provide access to theatre for people who use BSL. Where possible we have 'semi-integrated' interpretation, where the interpreter is in costume and up close with the actors, allowing for a more immersive experience.

Relaxed Performances

These performances are aimed at everyone but have been designed with the needs of people with an autistic spectrum condition, sensory and communication disorders, a learning disability or for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment. Performances are adapted with a more relaxed attitude to noise and movement in the auditorium and adapted light and sound in order to reduce anxiety and ensure a safe, enjoyable theatre visit. 

Familiarisation visits

We offer familiarisation visits to those who would benefit from seeing the auditorium and their seats before their visit to the show. This is aimed at people who may find their visit stressful being sat in an unknown environment.

These visits can be arranged by emailing access@rsc.org.uk from there we will be able to look into finding a time when we can gain access to the auditorium.

We cannot always guarantee entry as this may be due to rehearsals inside the auditorium but we will do our best to get you in. 

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