A visual resource for people with Autism Spectrum Condition.

Visual story

This story will help prepare you for the experience of visiting a theatre to watch a performance. It will help familiarise you with the building and staff. I am going to see …... with …..  at the New Theatre in Cardiff.

There are people who work at the New Theatre who can help me if I need anything. They are called ushers and they look like this:

They are very friendly and want to make sure I enjoy my visit to the theatre. When I go through the front doors of the theatre, I will be in a room called a foyer. It might be quite busy, as lots of other people want to see the show as well. On the right is the Box Office, where I can buy tickets and ask questions:

On the left is a big spiral staircase with a red carpet:

If my ticket says that my seat is through door C, D, E or F I will go upstairs:

If my ticket says my seat is through door A or B I will stay on the ground floor:

Further into the building is a bar where I can buy a drink and a kiosk where I can buy sweets or a souvenir from the show if I want to:

I might have to stand in a queue before I go into the theatre. One of the ushers will show me where to go and what to do. If I need to use the toilet before the show begins, they will help me to find them. There are toilets on every floor and I can find them myself by following the signs.

The theatre has lots of different places to sit. My seat might be downstairs, or I might have to go upstairs. I can use the stairs or the lift.

My seat number will be printed on my ticket and one of the ushers can tell me where I need to go:

There are signs around the theatre to tell me where I am. The ushers will tell me when it’s time to go and sit in my seat. There will also be an announcement in Welsh and English. The ushers will ask to see my ticket and then I can go into the auditorium. They will also need to look in my bag, if I have one, as part of their security checks. The auditorium is where all the seats and the stage is. This is where the performance will happen. It’s a big open area over 3 levels.

Everyone will sit quietly during the show so that we can all hear what’s happening on the stage. If it’s too loud I can cover my ears or wear headphones. I can leave at any time if I want to, but I must try not to disturb the other people watching the show. 

On the stage, I will see people called performers. They might be actors, dancers, or musicians. They are there to tell a story. They will be dressed up in special costumes and makeup to help tell the story. It will be really fun! 

There might be jokes or songs in the show. Sometimes people in the auditorium will clap after a joke or a song to show the actors that they enjoyed it. I can clap too if I want to, but I don’t have to.

There’s sometimes a break in the middle of the show, called an interval. In the interval, people can get up, walk around, use the toilet and maybe get a drink or an ice cream. I can do any of these things too, or I can stay in my seat if I want to. There will be an announcement to tell everyone when the interval is over. The announcement will be in Welsh and English. This means it’s time to sit in my seat again.

Just like before, the auditorium will get quieter and darker. The performers will come back onto the stage and finish telling the story. At the end of the show, the people in the auditorium will clap again to tell the people on stage how much they enjoyed their story. Some people might even stand up if they really enjoyed the show.

Everyone will leave the auditorium after the performers have left the stage. It might be loud and busy outside, but I can stay in my seat for a while to wait for the crowd to get smaller if I want to. I may need to stand up to let other people past me. If I need any help I can ask the ushers and they will help me.

We hope you have a lovely time!