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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.

Audio Described Performances
  • Xenos 18 Aug 8pm
    Audio Describers: Emma-Jane McHenry
  • La Cenerentola 26 Aug 7.15pm
    Audio Describers: Jacqueline Bouchard & Jonathan Penny
BSL Interpreted Performances
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 inkblot.collective@icloud.com or text +44 (0) 7748 181 163.

Cold Blood 6 Aug 8pm
Waiting for Godot 10 Aug 7.30pm
Midsummer 17 Aug 8pm
HOME 24 Aug 8pm
The End of Eddy 26 Aug 2pm

Visual Content

Shows with a strong visual narrative and little or no dialogue: Cold Blood, Hocus Pocus, HOME

Touch Tours

Prior to an audio described performance, a Touch Tour offers the opportunity to get up close to a selection of costumes and props. Tickets for Touch Tours are free but should be booked in advance. Touch Tours are exclusively for those using the audio description service and their companions.

Access Bookings

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. You can book these tickets in person at The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE or by calling +44(0)131 473 2056. Access discounts are not available online.

Access Information

Find out more about the access provision at the International Festival

Audio Description and Touch Tours

Audio Described performances support people who are blind or partially sighted to access live performance. 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.

Captioned Performances

This service is useful for anyone who is Deaf, hard-of-hearing, has difficulty in following strong accents, or whose first language is not English. Captions are displayed in large print on either side of the stage. Text appears in real time as the words are spoken by the performers. The captions also provide information about who is speaking and any sound effects or music that may be important to understanding the performance. 

English language supertitles are also available for all operas and most choral works. These are lyrics displayed in large print above the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted Performances

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. BSL interpreters provide a linguistic and artistic interpretation. The interpreter mostly stands to one side of the stage.

Edinburgh Playhouse Exterior © Mihaela Bodlovic

Our Venues

Learn more about the accessibility of our venues

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.