1992: Access

A landmark moment occurred in 1992 when signed and described performances were introduced at Chichester Festival Theatre, one of the earliest examples of its use in the UK. The initiative was pioneered by John Hyland, a Trustee and former chairman of the CFT Society (now CFT Friends), alongside with his wife Sue, who had been inspired by a visit to the Theatre Royal Windsor. Coinciding with CFT's 30th anniversary, a production of Coriolanus starring Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench was the first to offer new accessibility for D/deaf and blind or visually impaired theatregoers. Today, CFT offers a range of access services including relaxed and dementia friendly performances, touch tours and a Buddies scheme.