Marlowe Theatre in Kent fails wheelchair users




A few weeks ago I tried to get tickets for a show at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury (I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue) with my husband. It was going to be a quick sell out so my Personal Assistant called on the advertised booking line as soon as they went on sale at 9 am.

After 20 minute she got through to an answer machine message saying due to expected high demand people must book using the online booking system.

However, here is the problem – wheelchair users can not book a space on-line which the theatre later confirmed. Also, it appears that the ‘carer and family seats’ next to the wheelchair spaces can be booked by anyone on-line – even if that person could have sat in another available seat.

We were both really angry that this show (rarely visiting Kent) was not open to wheelchair users on the advertised booking number.

It is  unlawful discrimination to offer such an unfair ticket booking system. Whilst they offer an ‘access mailing list service’ for priority booking, nowhere do they say you have to sign up to this just to be able to book a seat (and that this was the only way to get them at sell out shows). Also, how would this be handled – would all wheelchair users get a fair chance?

Anyone else with an impairment such as vision loss may also have found it impossible to use the online method of ‘picking a seat’ from a visual theatre seat plan. If the box office can’t handle sellout shows and opens them only to non-disabled internet users – then this is incredibly unfair.

I tried to use their web site to contact them about this … but it actually took me about 15 attempts because the form didn’t work – clicking in the next box deleted he previous box!! They really are useless.

Note to self – spend your money where your custome is appreciated.

We have been to other venues who have wonderful access and a separate booking line for wheelchair users or people who might be unable to use on-line systems  – so these spaces can be booked fairly, at the same time, on a first come first served basis. I am disappointed and frustrated that the Marlowe Theatre makes it so difficult to book tickets without being on a ‘special’ list and then having to unsubscribe from future mailings if you only go there once in a blue moon.

Well Marlowe – I’m Sorry YOU didn’t Have a Clue.


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