A free ticketing scheme aimed at older people from the D/deaf community has been launched by Bolton’s Octagon theatre, aimed at encouraging theatre attendance.

In partnership with Ambition for Ageing, the theatre will provide free tickets to over 50s who are D/deaf or hearing-impaired for upcoming British Sign Language-interpreted and captioned productions. 

Victoria Brown, head of creative engagement at the Octagon, said, according to The Stage: “With 62 per cent of our audiences aged 55 and above, this age group is really important to the Octagon. Generous support from the Big Lottery Fund and Ambition for Ageing means many more over 55s in the D/deaf community will be able to access and enjoy our performances.”

Free tickets will be available for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice on January 29 and The Importance of Being Earnest on June 11, with both being performed at the Albert Halls while the Octagon undergoes a renovation.

The theatre, with support from Bolton Deaf Society, has also expanded its staff training, brought in BSL interpreters and organised social events to boost its offering for D/deaf people.

Jordan Goucher, from the Bolton Deaf Society, added: “One in six of us have some form of deafness and this increases as we get older. By tackling some of the barriers deaf people are faced with, we can create a more inclusive community.”

Image: daveynin