Accessibility

Making sure everyone's needs are met

We want every audience member to have the best possible theatre experience; it's one of our top priorities. Find out what facilities we have in place to help during your visit. And remember, our team are always happy to chat if you think you might need help but you’re not sure what to ask for.

Are you a wheelchair user, visually impaired, Deaf/deaf or hard of hearing? Skip to the bottom of this page to find out what support we have in place for you.

Assistance dogs are more than welcome (we love dogs and dogs love a show). As space is limited inside the auditorium, let us know if you plan to bring a support dog with you and we'll ensure that you're both well looked after.

You can contact us on 01243 781312, email at access@cft.org.uk or chat to us live on this website.

Accessible performances on specific dates

Accessible at all performances

What does CFT have in place to help me?

Accessible performances

You can filter what's on by access need and you can find accessible performances on each of the separate production pages as well. We hope this will make it easier to find what you need but if you have any queries or suggestions let us know at hello@cft.org.uk. We'd love to get your feedback!

Accessible toilets

Toilets, washrooms, bathrooms or loos - whatever you call them, it's likely that you'll want to visit ours while you're here.

We have two accessible toilets in the Festival Theatre Foyer (one on each side) and another in the Festival Theatre (auditorium left, adjacent with row L), plus one on each level of the Minerva Theatre.

We also have two sets of ladies and gents in the Festival Theatre and another two sets in the Minerva (offering a total of 63 cubicles, four of which are ambulant, and 27 urinals), so there's no shortage of places to spend a penny.

The nearest Changing Places toilet is in Northgate car park where it is managed by Chichester Council. You can find more information here on the Changing Places website.

For wheelchair users
  • There is level access across the CFT site with lifts available to other levels.
  • The Café on the Park and our restaurant, The Brasserie, are wheelchair accessible and offer brilliant coffee and great dining experiences.
  • 16 wheelchair spaces are available across two levels in the Festival Theatre and we have two spaces in the Minerva Theatre. Call or email Box Office on 01243 781312 or box.office@cft.org.uk to book your space (or register as an Access member to book online).
  • Want to transfer from a wheelchair into a theatre seat? Let us know in advance when you book and we can help you.
  • Wheelchairs are available to borrow if you need one when you get here; email box.office@cft.org.uk to reserve yours. It's best to do this in advanced as they are subject to availability.
  • Not in a wheelchair but have limited mobility? Walking sticks, crutches and walking aids can all be taken into the theatres and if you can't fit them safely under your seat we'll store them for you in a safe location. We'll do our best to get them back to you swiftly at the end of the performance but please allow extra time in case our Front of House team are busy elsewhere.

If you find an area of our building where access is restricted (unfortunately there are a few), our Box Office and Front of House team members have all completed accessibility training so have a chat to them. They'll happily answer questions or take on feedback to share with the rest of the organisation.

Step-free access

In the Festival Theatre, the foyer, café and toilets are at ground level with no steps to negotiate. When booking your seats you'll want to choose Row L from the Front and Side Stalls or Row W in the Rear Stalls. We have lifts on either side of the auditorium with level access to both of these rows.

In the Minerva building the Theatre and Minerva Bar are on the first floor - once you go through the doors, head behind the stairs to find a lift ready to take you up a level. If you'd like step-free access to your seat in the Minerva, book Row A. The Brasserie is on the ground floor if you're stopping for something to eat before the show.

For people with visual impairments
  • Audio described performances provide friendly live commentary over discreet headphones. Pick up your headset from our cloakrooms in the Festival Theatre or outside the Minerva auditorium. (And as an added bonus, we'll share a "pre-description" with you before the show just to give you a taste of what's to come.)
  • Free touch tours are available 90 minutes before audio described performances so you can explore the set and costumes. Make sure you book your space in advance.
  • All seat row ends and individual seats have Braille signage and we can provide a Braille or large print cast list for all Festival season productions.
  • Our season brochures are available in different formats. You can download the large print version here or listen to our audio brochure here (or contact access@cft.org.uk and we'll send you a CD).

Can't make our audio described dates? Let our House Manager know (housemanager@cft.org.uk) and we'll see if it's possible to arrange an alternative.

For those who are D/deaf or hard of hearing
  • At BSL interpreted performances a British Sign Language interpreter stands on or at the side of the stage and interprets the spoken word and sound effects.
  • Stagetext captioned performances provide English subtitles either on a screen above or to the side of the stage, or on a personal tablet in specific seats. Our Box Office can make sure you're booked into a seat that gives you a good view of the captioning units so contact them on 01243 781312.
  • We record and caption many of our pre-show talks and make them available on YouTube.
  • Both theatres are equipped with Infra-Red audio enhancement system and you can pick up a headset at our cloakrooms before the show for free.
  • Hearing aid user? Switch to the 'T' position once inside the auditorium to use our induction loop system. Handy tip: this system works best if you're sat in the centre of the auditorium so chat to our Box Office (01243 781312 or box.office@cft.org.uk) when booking if you'd like to use this service.
  • We have a chat function available on the website and can answer questions via email if helpful at access@cft.org.uk

We carry out regular checks on these systems but sometimes technology unfortunately fails us. If you're having any difficulties whatsoever, make sure you speak to a member of staff as soon as possible so we can try to fix the problem.

For those with Neurodivergence
  • Our Relaxed Performances are aimed at those who enjoy a quieter more chilled out environment. These performances include small changes to create a more comfortable experience. You're welcome to come and go during the show, we'll reduce the volume and keep our houselights at a low level.
  • If you would like more information go to the Relaxed Performances page.
Seat widths

In the Festival Theatre, seats vary from 500mm wide to 560mm wide. In the Minerva Theatre they are either 515mm wide or 520mm wide. All our seats have fixed armrests. Click here to download plans for both venues showing the widths of the different seats.

Please give our Box Office a call on 01243 781312 or email access@cft.org.uk if you would like any further information.


We waited at the welcoming low level box office for all of about thirty seconds for our tickets, and the front of house chap operating the lift simply could not have been nicer, more helpful or efficient.

Michael, Access Member

The audio description was so good that it did not make the slightest difference that I could not see a thing that was happening on the stage!

Member of Midhurst 4Sight Vision

We had an amazing evening - the show was fantastic, and we would like to say a special thank you to Jason (who helped us as an assistance usher) who was so incredibly friendly, professional and helpful. We were so grateful.

Chloe, Access Member and wheelchair user

Join our access list membership

Our access list is open to anyone with a disability, as defined under the Equality Act 2010. Letting us know any specific access requirements you have in advance will help us to help you have the best experience possible at CFT.

Simply fill in the form online, below or download a copy and post it back to us if that's easier and your membership will last for up to three years. Plus if you're able and happy to provide a copy of proof of disability along with your completed form, you'll be eligible for a 50% Access discount for you and an essential companion if you require one. Examples of accepted documentation are listed on our form - ideally dated within the last 12 months where possible. Once completed the form can take up to 1 week to be processed.

Remember you can always give our House Manager a call on 01243 784437 or email access@cft.org.uk if you have any specific questions.

The important bits (Access List T&Cs):

The terms of this membership were created under advice from The Chichester Access Group. The Access membership scheme is open to anyone who is disabled as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

Membership lasts for three years and will need to be renewed with proof of disability; please let us know if any of your circumstances change.

If you are not eligible for the discount but have specific requirements please still complete the form; it'll help us provide the best possible service according to your needs.

The online form below is encrypted and secure. Once submitted, one of our helpful staff members will contact you within 14 days. If you'd like to book tickets in the meantime please call Box Office on 01243 781312.

Members who intentionally give false or misleading information will have their membership revoked.

CFT reserves the right to review and amend the scheme without prior notice and may require members to re-apply after the review.

Your specific needs will be stored on our booking system for the duration of your membership. We'll keep this to ourselves and won't share this information with any other party. Your original application and proof of eligibility will be destroyed once processed.