The theatre was initiated in 1882 by Sefton Parry, a speculative theatre builder, who bought the site hoping it would have to be purchased from him by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Company, whose terminus was alongside. The Royal Avenue Theatre opened on 11 March 1882 with a revival of Offenbach's Madam Favart. The prefix Royal was soon dropped from the theatre's name, but comic operas, burlesques and the like remained the staple fare for several years. For much of this time,... Read more >>
Playhouse Theatre Visual Story: a visual resource to help prepare visitors for a new experience and to help them become familiar with new surroundings and what to expect. Please contact the Access Champion if you would like a copy of this.
There are 3 steps into foyer through double doors - a ramp is available. The Box Office is to your left. There are no further steps into Stalls seating, 28 steps to the Dress Circle and 82 steps to the Upper Circle. Staircases have highlights and handrails. There is hard flooring in the foyer for wheeled traffic. The theatre is open 45 minutes before the performance, and the auditorium 30 minutes before. There are wheelchair spaces at rows G and J in the Stalls - a companion can sit in next to the customer. There are a further 6 transfer spaces available. Scooters & wheelchairs will be stored in rear stalls. There are bars in the foyer, basement, dress and upper circles.
The Playhouse Theatre is equipped with a Sennheiser infra-red sound amplification system, available in all areas of the auditorium. To access the infra-red systems please request receiving equipment from the Box Office situated in the main foyer. A £10 refundable deposit is required. There are two devices available: Induction Loop Necklace - Suitable for persons wearing a hearing aid, the induction loop necklace is worn around the neck. Whilst wearing the necklace switch your hearing aid to the 'T' setting and the sound is amplified. The necklace has an adjustable volume control. Headset - This device amplifies sound through earpieces similar to regular headphones. Suitable for persons without a hearing aid.
Guide dogs are permitted in the auditorium at the end of a row in the stalls. Staff are happy to dog sit during the performance.
There is an access toilet in the foyer, adapted for wheelchair use. Non-adapted toilets are in the Basement Bar, Dress Circle, and Upper Circle.