Over the past two weekends, I’ve visited the Young Vic Theatre twice to see Nina: A Story About Me And Nina Simone with Josette Bushell-Mingo and Yerma with Billie Piper.
In the smaller performance space of The Maria, Josette Bushell-Mingo, brilliantly supported by her backing band, gave an outstanding solo performance in a personal tribute to Nina Simone that she, and her husband, created. Do catch her if you can in her upcoming Edinburgh Festival performances.
In the Main Theatre, Billie Piper and an excellent cast, in their second run, are recreating their roles in a superb translation of Lorca’s Yerma, a production lauded with praise and accolade in its initial run here. Billie Piper’s performance was quite staggering as was the set, entire production, cast and crew. One of the best nights of theatre I’ve had in a while.
You may or may not share my taste in theatre but if you are a theatre-going wheelchair user, it really is worth checking the Young Vic out as it always has a great varied programme of productions and is a very wheelchair accessible venue.
I generally get dropped off out front which means level access right through to the – always made available – wheelchair spaces.
I mention availability only because the Young Vic has variable seating plans depending on the production so the wheelchair spaces may be in slightly different places each time you go.
This changeability also means that you cannot, as a wheelchair user, book online. Generally, this irritates me as I hate it when organisations make ‘special arrangements’ for us wheelie types. I want to be able to book like everyone else.
However, I accept the telephone booking with good grace here because, when you call, the box office staff are trained, know what to do when you mention ‘wheelchair’ and I’ve never had any problem reserving a wheelchair space even when they don’t know where exactly it will be. And, yes, that is still a rare eventuality. Most box office staff still panic at the ‘wheelchair’ word, flap about, have to get help and, sometimes just don’t know how to do it at all. Very wearing!
But, not at the Young Vic who are switched on at box office and in-house for, it seems to me, most wheelchair situations. They even smile as they guide you to your space which may require negotiating lifts and corridors which I’ve managed in my, large and heavy, power wheelchair so no problem for most anyone, I’m thinking.
The Young Vic also has a very sociable and spacious eating and drinking area, though it does get crowded so can be a little tricky manuoevring the wheels around the standing people but, hey too much success isn’t a bad thing for a theatre venue, is it?
There are a few blue badge spaces along from the Young Vic – always occupied when we’ve arrived – and ample other parking in close by streets which is where D heads after my outside-the-theatre drop-off.
I’ve already got some tickets for next season. Click across and see if you might be interested too.
Box Office: 020 7922 2922
66 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LZ