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We want to make your visit to The Theatre on the Downs as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, and have provided information regarding access facilities and accessible performances. For more information, getting to The Theatre on the Downs or if there isn’t an accessible performance that works for you, please get in touch by emailing: and we’ll try to do our best to help.

To book tickets, please contact Bristol Old Vic Theatre.
By phone: 0117 987 7877 | By email:


Facilities On Site

To access the theatre, head to Stoke Road by The Downs Cafe (Stoke Rd, Durdham Downs, Bristol BS9 1FG). The Theatre on the Downs is the big blue tent behind the cafe. 

The Theatre on the Downs and Breaking Bread are on a green-field site (Clifton Downs). Ground conditions are therefore weather dependent (if we experience extreme weather, the ground does become extremely muddy). Even though The Theatre is covered, mobility across the site may become compromised.

There is disabled parking on Stoke Road by The Downs Cafe.

We have an accessible toilet on site, but please note it does not have bars. If you need to use a toilet with bars then please email in advance of your visit and we will be able to arrange alternative facilities.

For more information on parking or for more information on what to expect when you arrive, please email

In The Theatre

Wheelchair access: For every performance, we have two allocated wheelchair spaces with a free companion ticket, situated on the front row of the auditorium. If you require a wheelchair ticket, please request this at the time of booking. Please let us know of any other access requirements you have, so we can ensure your visit is as enjoyable as possible.

Step free access: The first two rows of the theatre have step free access, while the rest of the audience bank has shallow steps.

Guide dogs: Guide, hearing or other working dogs are welcome. There will be an area on site for toileting and drinking – please let us know ahead of your arrival by emailing if you will be bringing one. Please note you will need some supporting evidence to accompany this request.

Assisted performances

Assisted performances are listed below. We are still adding performances but if you don’t see a performance that works for you, then please get in touch with Emily at and we may be able to arrange one for you.

Wednesday 18 August, 7.30pm: WINNERS (captioned)

Thursday 19 August, 3pm: The Star Seekers (relaxed)

Thursday 19 August, 7.30pm: WINNERS (signed)

Wednesday 25 August, 7.30pm: WINNERS (captioned)

Thursday 26 August, 7.30pm: WINNERS (signed)

Saturday 4 September, 11am: Silly Squirrel (relaxed)

Saturday 4 September, 3pm: Silly Squirrel (relaxed)

Sunday 5 September, 11am: Silly Squirrel (relaxed)

Sunday 5 September, 3pm: Silly Squirrel (relaxed)

Mobile Captioning via The Difference Engine

The Difference Engine is a discreet new tool for making performance accessible to partially-sighted, deaf or hard of hearing audience members by delivering captioning directly to their mobile device.

You will need to download The Difference Engine app before the performance. If you do not have a smartphone, there will be two spare phones available per performance.

To Access Captions

  1. Download the free App
    • On iOS (iPhone / iPad) – download from the App Store
    • On Android – download from the Google PlayStore
  2. Connect to the network
    • Set your device to Airplane mode to avoid interruptions
    • Re-enable WiFi and select the Difference Engine network
      (available 20 mins before the event begins – if not, speak to a member of staff)
      Password is: engine123 (If this changes check the App Guide)
  3. Open the App and select Captions

If you have a different device, or an older version of iOS or Android:

  • Connect to the Difference Engine WiFi network, as above
  • In your browser, type into the address bar – press Enter
  • Select Captions

You might want to adjust your brightness down – it will save battery life!

For more info on the Difference Engine go to

Signed Performances

A signed performance features a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter who interprets the shows for deaf audiences.

Relaxed Performances

Relaxed performances are aimed at encouraging and welcoming audiences who could benefit from a calmer environment, which might include: people with learning disabilities, movement disorders, autistic spectrum disorder, other neurological conditions, people with Tourettes and those with young children or babies.

At the start of our relaxed performances we will give an introduction to remind the audience that it is relaxed, that anyone who needs to move or be noisy has the freedom to do so and that they can leave and come back in at any point.

For these performances, we will adjust aspects of the production’s light, sound and interactivity as required and staff will have an inclusive approach from start to finish.

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