News Story

Find out about the accessible performances and events at the International Festival that bring you closer to what is happening on stage

As Disabled Access Day celebrations are taking place 10-12 March 2017, we would love to tell you about the accessible performances and events at the Edinburgh International Festival that bring you, your family and friends closer to what is happening on stage, enhance your experience, and create opportunities for you to try something new.

Read on to find out about the types of accessible performance we offer, what they are like and how you can book them or request more information. You can also see the listings of our accessible performances at the 2017 International Festival.

Accessible performances at the International Festival

We hope our range of accessible performances makes your visit to the International Festival as relaxed and enjoyable as possible:

  • British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted performances allow people who are Deaf or for whom BSL is their first or preferred language to access live performances. Find out more about BSL performances
Do you ever wonder what accessible performances are like?

Let’s imagine what your visit to the International Festival might have been last year.

When you attended the Touch Tour preceding a performance of The Glass Menagerie, you had a chance to feel just how delicate was Laura’s precious unicorn figurine, a detail that resonated with you when dramatic tension was building up later that evening. Another day, before Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte began, you had a guided tour exploring the spacious set of the Italian colony in east Africa.

Later on, when you made yourself comfortable in your seat in the auditorium and put your individual headset on, our audio describer started introducing you to the world onstage before the curtain even went up. You knew exactly what the characters were wearing, how they gestured and what the stage looked like, without disruption on keeping up with the actors’ dialogue.

A few days later, when you went to a dance performance, our audio describer navigated you through the movement of Scottish Ballet dancers, making sure you didn’t miss out on awe-inspiring details of dancers’ transformation into a swarming mass of insect-like creatures in Crystal Pite’s piece.

In another scenario, you might have chosen one of British Sign Language (BSL) performances where an interpreter provided a linguistic and artistic interpretation of what is happening on stage. There was also a range of captioned performances where text was displayed on the side of the stage reporting in real time on the characters’ dialogues and important sounds.

Do you think any of those performances could make your or your friend’s visit to the International Festival even more enjoyable?

Visit our access page to read more about each type of access events we put on and find out which one is best for you. If you have any questions, get in touch with our friendly staff by emailing [email protected], calling a dedicated line on (0)131 473 2056 or using a textphone prefix 18001.

We are just a few days away from sharing the 2017 programme with you on 15 March, so make sure you visit our accessible performances listings then. We will also have the International Festival brochure and Access Guide available in Braille, audio CD, mp3, large text and PDF format - you can request them here. You can surely expect a range of audio described performances, Touch Tours, captioned and British Sign Language interpreted performances across our dance, theatre and opera events.