Prioritise accessibility in theatres

As a senior citizen and a temporarily handicapped person, I faced challenges in attending a show at the Esplanade Theatre recently.

I took the lift from the basement carpark, but the walk to the hall and the steps that had to be managed to get to the auditorium made me wonder how other people in a more disadvantaged position could have managed it.

In the theatre, the absence of a centre aisle and the narrow spacing between the rows of seats made getting to my seat equally taxing.

Some patrons rose to allow me to pass, but I had to be extra cautious with those who remained seated, to ensure that I did not step on their feet or fall on them.

The Esplanade should consider having more space between the rows of seats. This is essential, especially during an emergency. A centre aisle is equally important for this purpose.

Even though this may entail a reduction in the number of seats, and affect ticket sales, safety, convenience and easy accessibility should surely be given priority.

Padmini Kesavapany (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2018, with the headline 'Prioritise accessibility in theatres'. Print Edition | Subscribe