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Accessible Performance

Accessible performances and booking

We want to make your visit to the Edinburgh International Festival as relaxed and enjoyable as possible; from discovering the programme through to booking your tickets, arriving at the venue and of course the performance itself.

On this page, you'll find information on:

- booking tickets,
- discounts available,
- different types of accessible performances,
- accessible performances listing,
- requesting brochure in various formats.

You can download the 2018 International Festival brochure and Access Guide in PDF and mp3 below, or alternatively you can use a form at the bottom of this page to request them in Braille, large text, or audio CD.

How to book

Telephone +44 (0)131 473 2056
Textphone prefix 18001  
In person Hub Tickets, The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE

Hub Tickets are open from 10am until 6pm Monday to Sunday between 9 and 29 July. From 30 July to 27 August, the box office is open between 9am to 7.30pm Monday to Sunday.

To ensure that you don’t miss out on any important information or discounts, please advise Hub Tickets staff at the time of booking which access service you require.

Tickets can be sent as an e-ticket, collected from Hub Tickets in advance or picked up at the venue from one hour before the start of the performance.

A transaction fee of £1 per ticket, up to a maximum of £5, will be added to all bookings. You can have your tickets posted to you for a £1 postage fee.


People with disabilities can buy tickets for the area of the venue most appropriate for their needs for the lowest (unrestricted view) ticket price for that performance. Essential companion tickets are free.

To enable us to determine your requirements and assist you fully we are unable to offer access discounts online.

Touch Tour of Ubu and the Truth Commission | Photo: Clark James

Audio Description & Touch Tour

An audio describer provides a live commentary of the visual elements of a performance which is broadcast though a personal headset. They will describe the action such as where the characters are on stage, what they’re wearing, how they gesture and what the set looks like, without intruding on the actors’ dialogue. The commentary begins 15 minutes before curtain up.

Prior to an Audio Described performance, a touch tour offers people who are blind or partially sighted the opportunity to get up close to a selection of costumes and props. The describer gives a full account of the items that you are introduced to and how they feature in the performance. Tickets for Touch Tours are free but should be booked in advance.

The Barber of Seville - 8 August 7.15pm, Festival Theatre
Audio Describers: Jacqueline Bouchard & Susan Hellier
Touch Tour: 6.00pm, meet in venue foyer

Waiting for Godot - 11 August 2.30pm, The Lyceum
Audio Describers: Bridget Stevens & Lydia Kerr
Touch Tour: 1.30pm, meet in the venue foyer

XENOS - 18 August 8.00pm, Festival Theatre
Audio Describers: Emma-Jane McHenry
Touch Tour: 7.00pm, meet in venue foyer

The Beggar’s Opera - 19 August 2.30pm, King’s Theatre
Audio Describers: Jacqueline Bouchard & Amanda Drollinger
Touch Tour: not available for this production

Kadamati - 22 August 6.15pm, Palace of Holyroodhouse
Please contact Palace of Holyroodhouse direct on +44(0) 303 123 7306 to request audio description of the event
Touch Tour: not available for this production

The End of Eddy - 25 August 2.00pm, The Studio
Audio Describers: Emma-Jane McHenry
Touch Tour: 1.30pm, meet in venue foyer

La Cenerentola - 26 August 7.15pm, Festival Theatre
Audio Describers: Jacqueline Bouchard & Jonathan Penny
Touch Tour: 6.15pm, meet in venue foyer

Cold Blood | Photo: Julien Lambert

British Sign Language Interpretation

British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter stands side of stage and provides a linguistic and artistic interpretation for people who are Deaf or for whom BSL is their preferred language.

Cold Blood - 6 August 8.00pm, King’s Theatre
Signer: Louise Holden 

Waiting for Godot - 10 August 7.30pm, The Lyceum
Signers: Jackie Greenshields & Louise Holden

Midsummer - 17 August 8.00pm, The Hub
Signers: to be confirmed

The End of Eddy - 26 August 2.00pm, The Studio
Signer: Iain Hodgetts

An example of using captions at King's Theatre

Captioned performances

Captions are displayed in large text on either side of the stage. Dialogue appears in real time as the words are spoken by the performers. Captions also provide information about who is speaking and any sound effects or music that may be important to understanding the performance.

Waiting for Godot - 11 August 2.30pm, The Lyceum
Midsummer - 15 August 8.00pm, The Hub
The Prisoner - 26 August 7.30pm, The Lyceum


Supertitles are displayed in large text above the stage. Dialogue or lyrics are transcribed or translated into English and displayed in real time as the words are sung or spoken by the performers.

Staged productions

The Barber of Seville - 5, 7 & 8 August, Festival Theatre
The Beggar’s Opera - 16-18 August, King’s Theatre
La Maladie de la mort - 16-19 August, The Lyceum
La Cenerentola - 24-26 August, Festival Theatre

Concert performances

Opening Concert - 4 August 7.30pm, Usher Hall
Siegfried - 8 August 4.30pm, Usher Hall
Handel’s Samson - 13 August 6pm, Usher Hall
Hansel & Gretel - 15 August 7.30pm, Usher Hall
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra - 18 August 7.30pm, Usher Hall
Mahler’s Eighth Symphony - 26 August 7.30pm, Usher Hall

Hocus Pocus | Photo: Philippe-Weissbrodt

Visual content

Shows with a strong visual narrative and little or no dialogue. Suitable for those who are Deaf, deafened or hard-of-hearing.

Cold Blood - 4–6 August, King’s Theatre
Hocus Pocus - 10–12 August, The Studio
HOME - 22–26 August, King’s Theatre

Deaf Theatre Club

The International Festival has partnered with Inkblot Collective to offer the following Deaf Theatre Club events. British Sign Language users can get discounted tickets, seats with a good view of the signer and exclusive pre-show talks.

To book tickets or for more information contact Inkblot Collective on or text +44 (0) 7748 181 163.

Cold Blood - 6 August 8.00pm, King's Theatre
Waiting for Godot - 10 August 7.30pm, The Lyceum
Midsummer - 17 August 8.00pm, The Hub
HOME - 24 August 8.00pm, King's Theatre
The End of Eddy - 26 August 2.00pm, The Studio

Usher Hall

Read about access at the event venues

Download Access Guide

Request a brochure and Access Guide

Enter your details in the form below to receive the English language Braille, audio CD or large print version of the brochure and/or Access Guide in the post.

This is a service we provide free of charge for the blind and visually impaired. If you are looking to sign up to our general mailing list here.