Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2
It took a while for Dublin to get a theatre that was deserving of Broadway and West End productions but with the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre - where every seat has a good view - the wait was worth it. Surrounded by restaurants with theatre-based menus, the swanky Marker Hotel and a Fresh shop with a hearty pick n' mix selection, the entire Grand Canal Square is geared towards an evening out.
What has it got?
Seating: Wheelchair users have options when they book tickets here. You can either have an aisle seat and hop out of your chair or there are spaces where you can wheel in and join a row or there are moveable chairs in the wing areas. When you are booking tickets in person or on the phone, clarify what you need and they will sort you out.
Doors: The doors are all very wide and you might need to give a heave to get some of them open but they are normally manned by the staff.
Ground: The entrance is tiled and the venue area is carpeted.
Stairs: Wherever there are stairs, there is also a lift. The ground level seating area is mostly on sloped ground but there are steps at the back section and up in the tiered seating balcony.
Bathrooms: There is at least one wheelchair bathroom on every floor and they are very spacious. However, they could do with a few more larger bathrooms to cater for the crowds.
Spaciousness: There is a lot of room here, especially in the foyer.
Helpfulness of Staff: They are very helpful here and they have a lot of information on their website here in other ways that they can assist in terms of access.
Parking: There is a car park below the theatre and you can pre-book wheelchair spots through Q Park's website.
Why did it lose points? The design of the theatre is very open so there is a lot of space. The option of seating arrangements for wheelchair users and their friends/family is a major plus. From the Access section of their website, you can see that they have given it a lot of consideration and nothing feels like a last minute arrangement.