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Disability Access Information Service

News: Access for all at the BBC Proms with first ever signed concert

Artsline, 24 July 2010, 18:10


Paul Whittaker to give first ever signed concert at the BBC Proms

 Sondheim at 80 – Saturday 31 July

Charity Music and the Deaf team up with the BBC Proms in 2010 to bring a starry celebration of Broadway music to everyone in their first ever signed Prom.  Paul Whittaker OBE, the charity’s Artistic Director and Founder, will be signing Sondheim at 80.

As the BBC Proms enters its 116th season it continues a long tradition of making the best music available to the widest possible audience.  There is extensive provision for people with disabilities of all kinds as the BBC continues its dedication to remaining open to all.

Paul, who is also profoundly deaf, has worked on major West End productions such as Les Miserables and Grease, and will be making the 80th birthday of one of Broadway’s great innovators accessible to everyone.  The Sondheim Prom draws together leading figures of the opera and theatre world to perform excerpts from the horror-opera Sweeney Todd, the Ingmar Bergman-inspired A Little Night Music, the fairy-tale compendium of Into the Woods as well as Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George

150 Promming spaces are reserved for deaf patrons to the Sondheim at 80 Prom on Saturday July 31st 2010 at 7.30pm.  See ‘What Is Promming’ at For further information please call the Access Information Line on 020 7838 3110 or fill out the Access Form on the BBC Proms website.


Full details about the BBC Proms 2010 season available at:

Or in the best-selling BBC Proms Guide, now available in bookshops.

Non-Print Versions (in Audio CD and Braille formats) of the Proms Guide 2010 are available in two parts, ‘Concerts Listings/ Booking information’ and ‘Articles’, priced £3 each or £6 for both. For more information and to order, contact RNIB Customer Services: 0845 702 3153.

Discounts for Disabled Concert-Goers
Disabled concert-goers (and one companion) receive a 50% discount on all ticket prices (except Arena and Gallery areas) for concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall. To claim this discount call the Access Information Line on 020 7838 3110 if booking by phone. Note that discounts for disabled concert-goers cannot be combined with any other ticket offers. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Royal Albert Hall. The Box Office is situated at Door 12 and has ramped access, an induction loop and drop-down counters.

Wheelchair access is available at all Proms venues, though advance booking is advised.

The Royal Albert Hall has up to 20 spaces bookable for wheelchair-users and their companions. There are two end-of-aisle places in the Side Stalls and two in the Centre Stalls and are priced as such; front-row platform places either side of the stage are priced as Side Stalls seats; rear platform places are priced as Front Circle seats and spaces in the Front Cirle are priced as such.  Four additional wheelchair spaces are available in the Gallery for Promming.  Owing to the nature of Promming, these cannot be pre-booked.

Passenger lifts at the Royal Albert Hall are located on the ground-floor corridor at Doors 1 and 8.

Cadogan Hall has a range of services to assist disabled customers, including provision for wheelchair-users in the Stalls. There are three wheelchair spaces available for advance booking and one space reserved for sale as a day ticket from 10.00am on the day of the concert.  For further information, please call 020 7730 4500.

Royal College of Music
The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall has six spaces for wheelchair-users.  Step-free access is available from Prince Consort Road, located to the left of the main entrance.  For further information, please call 020 7589 3643.

Hard-of-Hearing and visually Impared Concert-Goers
The Royal Albert Hall has an infra-red system with a number of personal receivers for use with and without hearing aids. To make use of this service, collect a free reciever from the Door 6 Information Desk.

If you have a guide dog, the best place to sit in the Royal Albert Hall is in a box, where your dog may stay with you. If you are sitting elsewhere, stewards will be happy to look after your dog while you enjoy the concert. To organise this, please call the Access Information Line on 020 7838 3110 in advance of your visit.

Prom 19 on Saturday 31 July will be the first ever signed Prom.  Dr Paul Whittakerm Artistic Director of Music and the Deaf will guide you through the music of Stephen Sondheim.  When booking your tickets via the Access Information Line (020 7838 3110) please request the designated seating areas with the best visibility of the signer. 

Radio 3 commentary: Visually-impaired patrons are welcome to use the free infra-red hearing facility to listen in to the broadcast commentary on Radio 3.

Programme-reading service: Ask at the Door 6 Information Desk if you would like a steward to read your concert programme out to you.

Large-print programmes & texts: Large-print concert programmes can be made available on the night (at the same price as the standard programme) if ordered no less than five working days in advance. Complimentary large-print texts and opera librettos (where applicable) can also be made available on the night if ordered in advance. To order any large-print programmes or texts, please call 020 7765 3246. They will be left for collection at the Door 6 Information Desk 45 minutes before the start of the concert.

For further information on all the above please call the Access Information Line on 020 7838 3110. You can also call this number for advice on facilities for disabled concert-goers (including car parking) at all Proms venues; if you have any special requirements; or to request a Royal Albert Hall Access leaflet. Dedicated staff will be available daily from 9.00am to 9.00pm. The Access leaflet is also available from the RAH website –

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