SAVOY THEATRE REVIEW
There is nothing quite like a West End Show - the music, the atmosphere and, obviously, the talent. For Christmas I got tickets to see the Final Performance of Dreamgirls, which was even more impressive as everyone was emotional and there was a real enthusiastic vibe from the audience. The talent in the show was incredible but of course, as a wheelchair user, what makes the experience great is the accommodation and assistance team.
See the video below
First things first is getting into London and as usual the train staff on the platforms were more than happy to help us out. We just let them know where we were going and had a ramp onto the train and were greeted with a ramp when we got into London. It does state that you should “book” assistance 24 hours in advance, however, this is not always possible or necessary with busy and manned stations - such as London Victoria. For quieter stations you might want to check there is someone at the station to help you but usually booking in advance is not essential.
We headed straight to the Savoy Theatre where there is a small box office but enough room for a wheelchair to easily move around and a lower hatch to talk to the assistants. We did have to take ‘evidence’ that I was disabled - like the wheelchair isn’t enough. I just provided my letter of indefinence a.k.a I’m always going to be disabled. They told us to get to the theatre a little early as there was a 5 - 10 minute walk around to the accessible entrance and someone would be on hand to escort us around.
After lunch in Pizza Express in Aldwych (See the video for a review of that) we headed to Wetherspoons - always a great place for cheap drinks and disabled access!
As we were told, there were plenty of people to approach when we got back to the Theatre and a young lady took us around to the disabled entrance. The walk was only about 5 minutes for us as Gina walks quite fast and I was in my chair, although there is a bit of a hill to contend with which may be difficult for some pushers or those who struggle with walking.
The theatre is a Grade 2 Listed building so they cannot make many adaptations to it - therefore the entrance is through the Fire Door and straight into the auditorium. It also means there is only 2 wheelchair spaces because of the restricted access, which may make it difficult when trying to book tickets.
There is a disabled toilet just outside of the auditorium door and by the wheelchair bay. The toilet is at the bottom of the stairs to the ladies loo, so it can be quite busy in the interval but still accessible. The toilet was a decent size, not massive but enough room to move the wheelchair and transfer to the seat.
The assistant team were extremely caring and helpful we were asked if we wanted or needed anything from the bar at the beginning and twice in the interval. They also offered to go and get these things for us to save trying to get through the crowds, which we felt was going above and beyond what was expected.
Overall the assistance was fairly good, with understandable difficulties due to the nature of the building. But the team were on hand every minute to make it enjoyable and relaxed!