Theatre Deli prioritises accessibility for disabled communities across its programming, communication and venues

A Sheffield theatre group says it will become a ‘fully accessible organisation’ in a new policy that has been launched.

By Angela Furniss
Monday, 21st March 2022, 2:11 pm

Theatre Deli is prioritising accessibility for disabled communities across its programming, communication and venues.

The group is nationally renowned for creating ‘immersive theatre’ in unexpected places, taking over unused buildings and supporting emerging artists from underrepresented and marginalised communities.

It has occupied 11 buildings in its 14-year history, often without public funding.

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Nathan Geering

Creating the accessibility policy was the first priority for co-artistic directors Nathan Geering and Ryan Harston who joined the organisation in June 2021 as Theatre Deli’s first Black leadership team.

Steps taken by the organisation so far include consulting with experts from different access organisations and introducing an Access Residency programme, which offers financial support and resources specifically for disabled artists.

Nathan also runs Rationale Method which is a forerunner in creative audio description services and he achieved acclaim as artistic director for Sheffield’s 2017 Special Olympics opening ceremony.

Theatre Deli currently operates a ten studio venue in the heart of the City of London, where it has been partnered with British Land at their Broadgate campus since 2017.

The Sheffield venue in the former Mothercare building closed in January 2022 but the organisation hoping to announce a new location in the city soon.

It says the policy is a work in progress, and expects its approach to different kinds of accessibility to change and improve over time. It is continuing to research and consult experts across the disability sector for best practice but is also open to any constructive suggestions for improvement.

Nathan said: “We are super excited to be launching our accessibility policy, which we hope will set the standard for accessible theatre making and programming throughout the UK and beyond.

“We are passionate about making theatre as accessible as possible for both artists and audiences. This is a huge milestone for us as we strive to be a national destination for accessibility innovation within theatre and the arts.”