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“Attractive small theatre but very poor for wheelchair users”

St. Martins Theatre
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The Mousetrap Theater Show in London
Ranked #200 of 1,790 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 5 November 2012

This theatre is smaller than many, making for an attractively intimate feel that we liked.

The rest of my review relates to the disabled access at this theatre, which we found to be very poor.

We have been frequent vistors to many of London's theatres in the last few years and have always been very impressed with the trouble most of them have taken to cater for disabled customers, both in providing wheelchair spaces, access to them, and allocating staff to ensure they are well looked after. Most think this through very well - for example by ensuring that there is a disabled toilet close to the disabled seating area etc.. Given that most of the theatres were built long ago when such matters weren't considered, they have managed surprisingly well to make adaptations that allow them to work for disabled customers.

There are of course some that haven't been able to do this and when attempting to book for these, they explain this on the phone. It can be disappointing of course but it is quite understandable given the difficulties they have - the important thing that they know this and can tell us this.

St Martins theatre accepted our booking for a wheelchair user and two adults, with no comment on the facilities, which we therefore assumed were OK, but on arrival I was dismayed to find the arrangements were well below what other theatres manage.

In particular:

- There a few steps (three I think) at the main entrance. They had a mobile ramp they would place on this but I know from experience of similar arrangments elsewhere that with my wife's wheelchair this would not have proved practical.

- To gain access to the stalls, where our seats and wheelchair space were, involved a few more steps. Another ramp was offered and declined.

- Our wheelchair space was in the back row of the stalls, just to the left of the entrance and involved passing through a fairly narrow gap between the back of the end seat of the row in front and the wall surrounding the entrance door. My wife's largish wheelchair would probably not have passed through this space and if it had we'd have ended up facing the wrong way, with a very difficult task of turning it on the spot in a confined space.

- There is a disabled toilet but the only way to get to it from the main theatre foyer is by going up three steps, along a short corridor and then down six more steps. From the stalls it was possible to bypass the first three steps and just be left with the six steps down (and back again afterwards of course). There was a door to the outside right by this toilet so it would be possible to reach the toilet with no steps from outside the theatre but not from inside. The ladies toilet for non-disabled customers was actually directly off the foyer, so was much more accessible than the "accessible" one - an arrangement that is hard to understand.

The result of this was that my wife, who can walk but only with pain both at the time and subsequently, decided to walk to the seat from outside the theatre, including the two flights of three steps. She also had to negotiate more steps up and down to reach the toilet later.

I expressed some surprise to the theatre manager, who was being quite solicitous and helping my wife as much as he could. He didn't seem to understand that the disabled facilities here were poor - and in fact became quite defensive.

I understand that not all theatres can be adapted to be ideal for disabled customers. I also accept that some wheelchair users might be able to cope with this, as my wife did with some difficulty. My point is that, given the difficulties, this should be explained very clearly at the time of booking so that the customer can make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with the booking.

My low rating is based on all of this. If you ignore the disabled facilities, it's a nice theatre, so probably 4 or 5 stars.

2  Thank Alan_from_Hampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"agatha christie"
in 35 reviews
"upper circle"
in 30 reviews
"mouse trap"
in 21 reviews
"dress circle"
in 20 reviews
"longest running play in the world"
in 7 reviews
"leg space"
in 5 reviews
"visited st"
in 4 reviews
"great acting"
in 3 reviews
"great view of the stage"
in 3 reviews
"twists and turns"
in 3 reviews
"box office"
in 6 reviews
"excellent production"
in 3 reviews
"bucket list"
in 5 reviews
"step back in time"
in 3 reviews
"front row"
in 5 reviews
"west end"
in 7 reviews
"second half"
in 3 reviews

214 - 218 of 260 reviews

Reviewed 26 October 2012

The seats in this theatre are very comfortable, but a little short on leg room. We saw the Mousetrap and it was wonderful. After 46000 + performances it is still worth seeing. Suitable for all ages.

3  Thank Mr.BAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2012

Do yourself a favour and avoid this rambling load of nonsense.
Dissapointing in that i only had x2 nights in London and was looking forward to my visit to the West End.

Thank Murleog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2012

Don't buy the cheap seats unless you are less than 4ft tall. The Mouse trap was excellent we really enjoyed every second of the play. We really got submersed into the plot and the actors were flawless.

Thank Viccie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 September 2012

We spent a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon watching The Mousetrap. From our seats in the upper circle, (row B), we had a perfect view. Yes, space is limited, but you are in an old theater and does not spoil your experience. The play was excellent and kept us entertained with a mixture of murder and mystery laced with a bit of humor, and yes... i did guess who did it!

2  Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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