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Two images - one of a woman with a white cane in the auditorium of Leeds Grand Theatre in front of the orchestra and stage. The other is a photo of two women holding out an embroidered costume for three people to touch as part of a touch tour.

Theatre for All - Accessible Performances Fund

At Leeds Heritage Theatres, we believe that the arts and culture have the power to change lives, improve well-being, and remind us of what connects us as humans.

It’s why we exist. It’s what we do. It’s what we love.

We want everyone to be able to experience our performances, screenings, and events but we know there’s more we need to do to make this happen and we need your help.

We would like to provide Accessible performances at all our week-long productions at Leeds Grand Theatre and increase the number of Accessible performances at City Varieties Music Hall. Accessible performances are those which have additional elements to support those with visual impairments and D/deaf or hard of hearing audiences.

Donate now

A woman with a mobility cane in the auditorium of Leeds Grand Theatre in front of the orchestra and stage.

Audio Described performances mean that as a totally blind person you can laugh when everyone else is laughing, cry when other people are crying. A totally blind person can have the same theatre experience as any sighted person. You don’t have to guess what is happening on the stage or wonder why everyone around you is laughing or what they are laughing at.”

Tmara Senior, audience member who has been blind since birth.

We have invested in new captioning equipment through a grant, but to pay the specially trained staff to deliver one of each of these types of interpretations per week costs £2,000. We have 15 weeks of week-long productions across our venues and our aim is to provide one of each type of Accessible performance for every show. This means we need to raise £30,000 to make this happen – ideally by Thu 31 August 2023.

I have only ever managed to see one theatre performance with captions… and it completely changed my engagement with it and I enjoyed myself so much more!” Alice, audience member with hearing loss.

How you can help

We have had a generous legacy donation of £5,000 left to us in a will which we are using to start our Accessible Performances Fund*.

Your support will directly help to increase the number of Access performances that we can offer. It will change lives and help us reach new audiences who may otherwise not be able to experience the extraordinary feeling of connection we all get from shared performances.

*Find out more about legacy donations

Access performances explained