The Marlowe
Join our access scheme


We are passionate about making world-class theatre accessible to everyone. We are committed to providing a welcoming, inclusive and safe space for all communities, including disabled people and neurodivergent people.

The Marlowe Theatre has great facilities, including lift access to every level. We also provide a wide selection of accessible performances including Audio Described performances, BSL Interpreted performances, Captioned performances and Relaxed performances.

We have collaborated with and continue to work with local support organisations and disabled people in our community to improve accessibility at every stage of visiting our theatre. It’s important that we know about our customers’ individual access needs so we can deliver the best experience possible.

So, if you are a disabled person or someone with access needs, please sign up to our Marlowe Theatre Access Scheme to let us know how we can help you with your next visit.

Our access scheme is designed to provide equity to disabled audience members and those with access needs. By signing up and telling us how we can help you with accessibility, you will be able to:

  1. Book the best seats for Captioned, British Sign Language and Audio Described performances when new shows go on sale – online, by phone or in person.
  2. Book a wheelchair space online.
  3. Get discounted tickets for you and if needed, a companion (someone who is responsible for providing the additional disability-related support you require to access our venue).
  4. Keep up to date with accessibility and accessible performances at the Marlowe Theatre.

To sign up, fill out our online form or contact our Box Office. If you require this form in another format, or require assistance of any kind, please get in touch.

If you are already signed up to our Access Scheme but would like to update your information, please contact our Box Office in person, by calling 01227 787787 or by emailing

We offer four types of accessible performances at the Marlowe Theatre on a range of productions. We have Audio Described performances, British Sign Language performances, Captioned performances and Relaxed performances.

At our Audio Described Performances, live commentary of our shows is available via a personal headset. This service aims to bring theatre to life for our blind and partially sighted audience members.

At a British Sign Language Interpreted performance an interpreter stands on or aside the stage and interprets the spoken word and sound effects of the performance in British Sign Language (BSL).

At our Captioned Performances, subtitles are displayed on large screens at the theatre, usually either side of the stage. These performances are designed so that deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences can enjoy the show alongside everyone else.

Our Relaxed performances are all about creating a relaxed, accessible and inclusive atmosphere where everybody can enjoy the show the way they need to.

There are up to 10 wheelchair positions available over all three levels of our Main Auditorium and up to six wheelchair spaces in our Studio.

You can book a wheelchair seat for a wheelchair that is up to 90cm(w) x 110cm(d) x 120cm(h) online, by phone or in person. To book a wheelchair seat online, please sign up to our Access Scheme via our online form or by contacting our Box Office.

Spaces for wheelchairs or mobility scooters larger than 90cm(w) x 110cm(d) x 120cm(h) are also available but cannot be booked online. If you would like to book one of these spaces, please contact our Box Office.

Whilst there is no parking available on-site, we offer a limited number of parking spaces for customers who are Blue Badge holders. These cannot be booked and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We also have some limited spaces for mobility scooter parking.

Canterbury City Council has installed bollards on The Friars, on the approach to the theatre, to improve security in the city centre. This means that there is no automatic vehicle access to our theatre for customers.

If you are a Blue Badge holder who cannot use nearby car parks and you need access to our site, please contact our Box Office team at least one day in advance of your booking on 01227 787787 or by emailing

There is also a drop-off point available with step-free access to our main foyer. Please also arrange the use of this in advance by contacting our Box Office. There are then nearby car parks you can use, such as Orange Street Disabled Car Park. You can  find out more about Blue Badge parking in Canterbury on the Canterbury City Council website.

Please note that access is not possible unless permission has been sought in advance. Blue Badge parking spaces on site and permission to drop-off is limited and cannot be guaranteed, so we would encourage you to use local car parks wherever possible.

We have installed a Sennheiser (Tourguide 2020-D) hearing loop system in our Main Auditorium and Studio which uses radio frequencies to amplify sound from the stage. Personal induction loops are available for use with a hearing aid, and for those who do not wear a hearing aid or do not have the telecoil (T) setting on their hearing aid, headphones (over-ear headphones) are available to use with the loop.

You can collect induction loops and headphones from our Box Office; our staff will be happy to give you advice on how to operate these and you can also download our How to use our Sennheiser Hearing Loop instructions.

Did you know? We also offer Captioned performances where subtitles are displayed on large screens at the theatre.

Accessible toilets

We have accessible toilets on every floor within reach of our Main Auditorium and Studio.

Lift access

There is lift access to every floor of our theatre. Please let us know if you are unable to use the stairs, so we can arrange a plan for you in the event of an evacuation. You can do this by calling our Box Office on 01227 787787, or by emailing You can also tell us if you require step-free access by filling out our online form

Assistance dogs are welcome in our building, Main Auditorium and Studio. If you would like to bring your dog into the show with you, please contact our Box Office so they can help find the best seating. Please contact us in advance of your visit and provide proof that your dog is registered with an organisation that is a member of Assistance Dogs UK.

We also offer dog sitting at Stage Door during the performance. Please get in touch at least one day in advance of your visit if you would like to use this service and be aware that this service can be subject to demand.

We can provide written materials such as brochures, flyers and programmes in large-print, Braille, and audio file format. If you would like to receive materials in these or another format, please get in touch.

Visual Stories

We provide visual stories for our Relaxed Performances that tell you a little more about what to expect during the show. If you sign up as a Relaxed Performance Booker, we will email you our visual stories for any relevant shows as soon as they are available.

We have also created some helpful guides to both our spaces in the form of a visual story. These may be helpful for visitors on the autistic spectrum, or anyone who wishes to know more before their visit.

Download our visual story to our Main Auditorium.

Download our visual story to our Studio.

The seats in our Main Auditorium are 43cm(d) and range between 42-46cm(w). Please ask our Box Office if you would like to know the exact location of our seats.

All seats in our Studio are 41cm(d) x 42cm (w).

If you need an alternative seating arrangement, please contact our Box Office. We can arrange free-standing seats in certain areas of our Main Auditorium and there are other seating options in our Studio.

Please also contact our Box Office if you would like to know more about legroom or step-free access.

If you would like to visit our spaces to help you to feel comfortable and know what to expect before you come to see a show, please get in touch with our Box Office to organise a familiarisation visit.

Our upcoming accessible performances

Join our access scheme