Accessibility - Edinburgh
Click HERE to view our Pleasance Edinburgh Access Charter
Click HERE to view our Pleasance Edinburgh Access Map - here you can find level access routes to the box office, toilets and performance spaces.
The Pleasance is proud to have achieved the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Level One Venue Access Award for the Pleasance Courtyard, the Pleasance Dome and Pleasance at EICC.
- Box Office - you can book tickets for all shows at the Pleasance in the following ways: by phone on 0131 556 6550, online at www.pleasance.co.uk/edinburgh, or in person at the theatre Box Office (Festival Box Office opening hours 9am till late at the Courtyard and 10am till late at the Dome). There is a lowered access desk at both the Pleasance Courtyard and Pleasance Dome box offices.
- Audio described, sign interpreted and captioned performances are arranged on a show by show basis in conjunction with the performing company where possible - please check with the Box Office for further details.
- An infra-red hearing loop is available for all our venues with advance notice - please check with the Box Office for further details.
- If you need to be accompanied by a carer or assistant we will happily provide them with a complimentary ticket - please speak to Box Office staff in advance of the show.
- Guide or assistant dogs are more than welcome in all our venues. During performances our staff are also able to look after your dog outside the venue.
Wheelchair users and those with impaired mobility
- We have step free access to all of our venues.
- If you are a wheelchair user please make sure you inform the Box Office staff when booking your tickets.
- Each year Pleasance operates external venues outside the Courtyard and Dome that vary from year to year. Please check with Box Office staff in advance for full accessibility details of these venues.
Bars and Concession Stalls
Both the main bar at the Pleasance Dome and the Pleasance One Bar at the Pleasance Courtyard offer lowered access sections. Pleasance Pop-Up: Levels also has lowered service counters and can provide table service if needed.
Types of accessible performances offered
Captioning works by feeding a show’s script to the audience in real time alongside the performance. A caption unit is positioned in plain view of the audience and is operated from offstage. In the majority of cases, the operator is required to familiarise themselves by seeing the show or a recording ahead of the captioned performance. The operator will also need a copy of the script so it can be prepared and split up into manageable easily-conveyed sections. In addition to benefiting the deaf and hard of hearing, captioned performances can also assist audience members for whom english may not be their first language.
Similarly to captioning, live subtitling works by feeding the audience the script through a screen at the side of the stage. However, the script displayed is produced live during the performance so doesn’t have to stick to a script.
British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreter
Since 2015, BSL has been recognised as a national language in Scotland and is the favoured language by deaf people in the United Kingdom. In a BSL interpreted performance, the interpreter is positioned downstage and to one side of the performance area and provides a running interpretation of the show - though it is becoming increasingly common for interpreters to be integrated into the performance itself.
A relaxed performance is a slightly adapted staging of a production in which some of the standard elements of a performance are diminished in order to make it more suitable to patrons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Harsh lights, sounds or abrupt shifts can be distressing for people with ASD and, as such, provision should be made to adjust the levels so that lights aren’t excessively bright and any shifts occur more gradually. It may include some or all of the following:
- Explanation of what a relaxed performance is at the beginning of the show.
- House lights on at a low level.
- Sound effects and music at reduced volume, especially at any louder points.
- A relaxed attitude to noise.
- Audiences are free to leave and come back.
Audio Described Performances/Touch Tours
Audio described performances have a trained describer providing a running commentary of a performance’s action around the passages of dialogue. An audio described performance is also sometimes accompanied by a pre-show talk to help set the tone for the performance and provide a context to the show. Audio description is offered through a headset connected to an infra-red audio system. Audio described performances are often offered alongside touch tours, giving visually impaired patrons the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the set, costumes and props through touch ahead of the show commencing.
Taxi drop off points (please see Access Guide for map):
Pleasance Courtyard - on Pleasance, the road running alongside the entrances to the Courtyard (west of the venue)
Pleasance Dome - the Bristo Square bus stop on Lothian Street, a short distance to the front entrance (visible from the drop-off point)
Pleasance Pop-up: Levels- on Holyrood Road outside the venue.
Both the Pleasance Courtyard and the Pleasance Dome are well served by local bus services. The following all run along Nicholson Street (Festival Theatre), from which both the Courtyard and Dome are a very short step-free walk (approx 300 metres). Please note that all services run via North Bridge.
- 8 Muirhouse - Royal Edinburgh Infirmary, Moredon (via St. Andrews Square)
- 3/3A Birkenside or Mayfield - Wester Hailes (via Princes Street)
- 5 Oxgangs - Brunstane, Asda (via Meadowbank)
- 7 Newhouse - Ferniehill (via Leith Walk)
- 14 West Granton - Greendykes (via Leith Walk)
- 29 Silverknowes - Govebridge (via Princes Street)
- 30 Clovenstone - Musselburgh (via Princes Street)
- 31 East Craigs - Bonnyrigg Toll then Cockpen Rd or Polton Mill (via Princes Street)
- 33 Baberton - Hyvots Bank (via Princes Street)
- 37/37A Penicuik - Silverknowes (via Princes Street)
- 49 Portobello, Asda - Rosewell (via Leith Walk)
In addition the following services stop at Bristo Square and are convenient for the Pleasance Dome:
- 2 Gogarburn - The Jewel (via the Grassmarket)
- 41 Cramond - Craighouse Campus (via Princes Street)
- 42 Portobello - Silverknowes (via Princes Street)
Travelling by bus to Pleasance Pop-up: Levels
- 6 Hanover Street – Scottish Parliament
- Additionally this venue is a 4 minute step free walk from the Courtyard and is in proximity to the buses running along Nicholson Road
All Lothian Buses are accessible, they are equipped with:
- Low entrances that can “kneel” to kerb height to give step free access where possible
- Retractable boarding ramp for wheelchair access
- Completely flat areas on the lower deck (with no internal steps)
- High visibility handrails
- A dedicated wheelchair space
- Drivers who are specially trained to help customers enjoy the full benefit of their buses
Please note that most buses in Edinburgh require you to give them the exact fare and cannot give you change!
The Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance Dome and Pleasance Pop-up: Levels are all a short walk or taxi ride from Edinburgh's Waverley station. All entrances to the station are step-free. Further details can be found in Waverley Station’s accessibility guide.
Access Information for Pleasance @ the EICC
Located in The Exchange district of central Edinburgh, the EICC can be reached by several routes with plenty of accessible travel options to choose from.
Accessible Parking near the EICC
Dedicated accessible parking spaces are available in the following facilities:
- Sheraton Hotel Car Park located 150 meters from the EICC, with limited accessible parking spaces
- Semple Street Car Park located 300 meters from the EICC
- Castle Terrace NCP Car Park located 650 meters from the EICC
In addition there is on street parking on Morrison Street near the EICC's main entrance and in surrounding streets, such as Gardner's Crescent, which is free and without time limit for Blue Badge holders.
Several local buses stop at Lothian Road, which is approx. 300 metres from the EICC. Additionally, Lothian Buses service No. 2 stops just a few metres from the EICC’s main entrances.
The EICC benefits from a reserved drop-off area where taxis and cars can park temporarily, directly outside the venue’s two entrances. The taxi rank is situated at the front of the EICC where there is a dropped kerb. Taxis can be booked at the EICC’s Concierge Desks.
Our preferred taxi supplier is Central Taxis. All Central Taxis are wheelchair accessible. They offer a mix of 5-seater TX Hackney cabs, 6-seater Mercedes M8 taxis and Peugeot E7 taxis each of which is supplied with a wheelchair ramp, seatbelts and additional safety anchors. All drivers have completed training in Wheelchair Access and Disability Awareness.
The closest train station to the EICC is Haymarket. The station is accessible and is less than 500 metres from the venue.
Waverley Station is one mile from the EICC. All entrances to the station are step-free. Further details can be found in Waverley Station’s accessibility guide.
Edinburgh Trams stop directly outside Haymarket Station, which is the closest tram stop to the EICC. The trams provide frequent connections from the city centre to Edinburgh Airport.
The approach to the EICC from Lothian Road is flat with a gentle slope down towards the two main entrances - the Strathblane and the Lennox. From this direction you will arrive at the Lennox entrance first.
Arriving from Haymarket Station to the venue, after the step-free pedestrian crossing the pavement slopes upwards – from this direction you will arrive at the Strathblane entrance first.
The EICC’s two main entrances, the Strathblane and the Lennox, both have automated sliding doors which are operated by a push button from the outside and by sensor from the inside. During an event these doors are manned with security who can offer assistance if required.
Platform 5 Cafe
The Platform 5 Cafe includes a lowered access service desk.
For further information on disability access at the Pleasance @ EICC venues, please click HERE.
Please email all access queries to email@example.com or call us on 0131 556 6550.
For further information on accessible venues at the festival, we recommend Euan's Guide. Visit www.euansguide.com.