a ‘short-term’ disability…
On Saturday 24th March I was lucky enough to be invited to the Ballet to watch Cinderella at the impressive Bristol Hippodrome. It was my friend’s birthday present from her Mother in Law who unfortunately felt like she could not make it due to her currently going through chemotherapy. She decided that she wouldn’t go as she was too worried that she would need to stand up regularly, as she couldn’t sit down for long periods of time and would need the toilet frequently.
I decided to analyse this venue for people with perhaps a ‘short term’ disability.
As having cancer doesn’t necessary mean you can’t carry on with your day to day life, however you do now recognise how difficult it is to go to large venues and events when going through such an illness.
The seats she had booked were wonderful, close enough to the stage and also on an aisle so we would be in the centre but could get in and out easily if we needed to. However, as you can imagine with old theatres they are smaller seats with less padding then perhaps what we are used to in modern cinemas today. I was also very conscious that as we were so close to the front it would have been difficult to feel comfortable to get up and down as regularly as she may have wanted to as you would be conscious of distracting people’s views.
There were two 15 minute intervals with a total running time of 2 hours 30 minutes. This doesn’t leave a long time to go to the toilet especially when the queues were very long and the cubicles were very small.
Having cancer doesn’t warrant you disabled and you can’t always ‘see’ cancer this can then offend people when using a disabled toilet.
I know she would also not want to use facilities that could be needed by someone else more urgently.
However, a positive I did notice was how helpful all the staff were.
how they managed…
There were lots of them dotted around the theatre and were always very friendly and happy to help. I can imagine if she did feel able to attend the show then they would have tried to make her feel as comfortable as possible.
I think it is interesting to understand how a short term ‘disability’ can really affect people’s confidence. Unfortunately she didn’t want to attend as she didn’t feel comfortable asking staff and perhaps being labelled as using the ‘cancer card’. I feel she really missed out on a lovely evening which she had paid a lot for her and her daughter-in-law to enjoy. Hopefully once she is feeling better there will be another chance to enjoy such an evening.