Culture

As a wheelchair user at the theatre, kind staff make all the difference

I have been a wheelchair user for the last 10 weeks, after being hit by a car, and so have recently experienced the terrors and humiliations described in your article (‘I have to plan for if I am stranded, if I am dropped, if my chair is damaged’: the perils of travelling while disabled, 2 August). By contrast, I want to sing the praises of the staff at the Apollo theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, last weekend. They all knew of my presence in the auditorium, and I had a designated usher who was exemplary in his care and thoughtfulness – letting me know how the platform lift worked before he activated it, anticipating toilet needs, checking in on me on both intervals, and more.

All of this meant that I felt calm and reassured, and could concentrate on watching the show. It also shows how coordinated communication and human kindness can work together to create not just a trouble-free but also a memorable experience.
Prof Laurie Maguire
Oxford

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