Accessibility information

  • We are occasionally able to offer relaxed performances for audiences not ordinarily comfortable in a formal theatre setting, such as patrons with learning disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, Autism, or sensory and communication difficulties. Please enquire at Box Office for more details.

  • For visitors with mobility problems we provide an entry ramp, automatic doors, lifts and a disabled users’ toilet. Please note that lifts are suitable for wheelchairs, not for mobility scooters. We can safely accommodate eight standard sized wheelchairs within the Main Auditorium, and two wheelchairs within the Studio Theatre. Please ask the Box Office when booking, and arrive a minimum of fifteen minutes prior to curtain-up.

Essential companion membership

We offer Essential Companion Membership to patrons who rely on assistance from carers when visiting the theatre. Registered patrons purchasing a ticket for an event will benefit from an accompanying complimentary ticket for their carer. Application forms, FAQ’s and a Doctors Declaration Form can all be downloaded below.

Application form Doctor declaration form

Essential companion FAQs

  • Harlow Playhouse recognises that there may be explicit or implicit barriers for disabled people, or people with long term health conditions to attend any theatre venue, for a wide range of reasons. It was identified that for some people, the nature of their condition means that to enable them to attend a performance they would require a carer to accompany them. This would present a financial barrier due to having to purchase two tickets instead of one. We also noticed that customers needed to disclose personal details multiple times to our staff, that non-disabled customers could take advantage of pricing intended to support those with access requirements, and that the booking process for customers could be improved.

  • The Harlow Playhouse Essential Companion Membership scheme provides a number of benefits: The ability to communicate your access requirements and provide proof of eligibility once, so you don’t need to bring personal documents with you every time you visit the theatre. When a registered member purchases a ticket for an event, should a carer be necessary to enable them to attend the theatre, they can take advantage of an accompanying complimentary ticket for their Essential Companion. Email updates (if you opt in) which will include updates and promotions including information on Access Performances such as signed, captioned and audio described events and Relaxed Performances.

  • Membership is open to customers with any disability, as defined by the Equality Act (2010). The support needed must be due to disability-related needs, significant and in excess of what could be reasonably expected of family or friends already accompanying you. To register for the Membership Scheme we accept a wide range of documents, listed below. Proof of eligibility appropriate documentation we can accept include: Registering as a Person requiring an essential companion; Blue Badge / Other Disability Card, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), The Independent Living Fund Disabled Student’s Allowance, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, War Disablement Pension, Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (with guaranteed Income Payment Only), Vaccine Damage Payment, Severe Disablement Allowance. Registering as an essential companion; Carer’s Allowance Letter of Award, GP Letter that identifies you as a carer, Carer Card. If you are an organisation that provides care get in touch with our Box Office team to discuss becoming a member as an Organisation. If you believe you are eligible but do not have the required proof you can request a Doctor’s Referral Form from the Box Office. Please note you must provide your appropriate documentation before any Essential Companion tickets can be booked.

  • You can join the Scheme using one these methods; 1. Complete an application form available online, or from the Box Office, and submit the form along with your appropriate documentation, by post or email. Download an application form; 2. Register in person by speaking to a member of our team or bringing your appropriate documentation to the Box Office, which is open from 10:30 to 17:30 Monday to Saturday. 3. You can join by calling the Box Office on 01279 431945 between 11am and 4pm Monday to Saturday. Please note you will need to provide your proof of eligibility which can be done via email [email protected]. This is the best way to register if you’d like to book tickets for the same day. When joining you will be asked to let us know about your access requirements. We will make a note on your customer account of any relevant information that will help our teams provide you with a better service when you visit our theatres. Please note existing customers with a Carer tag will be contacted so that we can review your requirements and your proof of eligibility will be requested to create your Essential Companion Membership.

  • No. Harlow Playhouse Essential Companion Membership will simply be linked to your Ticket booking account, meaning it can only be used via telephone or in person at Box Office.

  • The Essential Companion membership scheme is completely free of charge.

  • Memberships expire 3 years from the date of registration, or until we make significant changes to the scheme. After this point, we will ask to review your requirements and will require an updated valid proof of eligibility document to renew your membership. This is because customers’ access requirements may change over time, and we want to ensure we hold accurate and up to date information.

  • Harlow Playhouse offers various memberships to all our patrons; Harlow Playhouse Supporter, Harlow Playhouse Champion, Harlow Playhouse Student Supporter, Harlow Playhouse Partner If you already hold one of these memberships, or would like one to add one to your Essential Companion Membership, we’ve got you covered; Just speak to a member of our team who can add a hybrid membership to your account. These memberships are valid for 1 year. If you change or choose not to renew a hybrid membership you may need to resubmit your proof of eligibility to secure your Essential Companion Membership for the next 3 year period.

  • Once your documents have been received and checked, any digital or hard copies are deleted r confidentially disposed of immediately and permanently. No physical or electronic copies of your proof of eligibility documents will be retained. Limited personal data which is required to administer the scheme is retained in your customer record to anticipate access requirements and to make reasonable adjustments on future bookings. Any such data is kept secure and in compliance with the Data Protection Act (2018); for more information please see our privacy policy available on our website.

  • Please review our full Terms and Conditions, which apply to all bookings and customers including essential companions. Essential companion tickets can only be reserved alongside a paid ticket; Carers attending without the person they support are not eligible for any complimentary tickets or concessions unless they are personally eligible themselves. It is agreed that people requiring the service of a carer, and utilising the complimentary ticket scheme, require assistance from a caregiver to attend performances on every visit. Therefore, it a member will have this facility removed from their account should they attend another performance without their carer. Essential Companion tickets can be returned at any time if they are no longer required, and we encourage you to do so at the earliest opportunity to enable the ticket to be used by others. Customers who repeatedly book Essential Companion tickets and do not use them will have this facility removed from their account. As this policy is potentially open to fraudulent misuse we require proof of eligibility as described above. Where a customer provides proof of eligibility as outlined above Harlow Playhouse will process the application for Essential Companion Membership immediately. We will not authorise the sale of Essential Companion tickets to people who are not able to provide the required proof, which we consider to be fair and reasonable, and in line with the policies of similar organisations. This is to protect the integrity of the scheme and ensure that this facility remains available to those customers who could not attend without additional support. We will remove the ability to book such tickets from anyone found to be misusing this facility.

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