What a Calamity! Wheelchair issues for show

DISABLED theatre fans hoping to get a taste of the wild west with the latest show at Blackfriars Theatre have been facing disappointment – after the venue’s two wheelchair spaces had to be removed for the show.

Calamity Jane, which is being staged by BOS Musical Theatre, is such a big production that it takes over the front row of the auditorium at the Spain Lane venue, meaning that the spaces normally available for wheelchairs are no longer free.

The only way people who use wheelchairs can see the performance is if they are able to get out of their chairs and into the seats in the auditorium.

Mike Raymond, managing director of the theatre, told The Standard: “We do have a slight problem. The orchestra is so large for this production they take up the front row. If people are disabled can get out of a wheelchair at the top and into a space there is no problem.

“It is only this particular show. It’s the only situation we’ve had.”

Joe Nash, chairman of the Boston and District Disability Forum said he believed that wheelchair space should be provided if needed, and there should be no permanent reduction in space.