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View from my wheelchair: Queensland Performing Arts Centre

As a frequent flyer at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre here is my review about their accessibility.

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community Sarah Shaw

I'm one of the many people with a muscle wasting condition that hasn't quite got a name yet or official diagnosis, I live with my wife and Friday our furry companion. I first started to notice changes in my body in 2008 so I have been living with this degenerative condition for more than a decade now. I have used a wheelchair as my mode of getting around since 2014. I love getting out and about in the community and am interested in Theatre, Music and the Arts. I also keep an eagle eye on what is happening in current affairs across the country. I worked in the Federal Public Service for twenty-six years and retired due to invalidity about two years ago.

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  • Companion card is recognised. Once on file you will not need to provide as part of booking until it expires. Companion ticket in most cases will need to be picked up on the day of the performance.
  • Venues have at least two to three options for accessible seating across most price points.
  • The venue is accessible with multiple accessible toilet options.
  • A reasonable amount of disabled parking spots available in the undercover parking at a cost. Note the distance from the parking to The Lyric and Concert Hall is at least 100 metres up a ramp.
  • Public transport both train, ferry and bus closely situated.
  • Drop off zones for people at both ends of the building.
  • Staff go out of their way to assist patrons with accessibility issues.
  • This is a large venue, but wheelchairs are available to borrow for anyone who has bitten off more than they can cope with on the day.
  • Multiple eating options within the venue.
  • Both the Concert Hall and the Lyric Theatre have premium accessible seating that is middle of the row, centre of the stalls.


  • No changing places toilets.
  • You can get from one end of the building to the other on the one level (eg Playhouse to Concert Hall or Lyric Theatre). In the event of rain, you can take the lift down to the carpark and get to the other end of the building via there.
  • When booking seats, the seat needs to be released for sale by a manager. This means booking seats takes a while at times.
  • Due to patrons having lodged complaints in the past about having to look through a large power wheelchair some booking staff will ask how tall your chair is and whether it will obscure another patron’s view. To overcome this, I usually book my tickets in person thus saving me having to answer the questions and to negotiate the best seats.
  • All accessible toilets in this building are definitely not created equal. All are excellent except for the following: The Cremorne accessible toilets are not a standard fit-out and much too low for me, even with my toilet extender. I, therefore, ask to use The Playhouse toilets and have never had a problem with having this request met. The other toilet with issues is the Concert Hall accessible toilet air conditioning. This toilet is incredibly hot and stuffy.
  • The Cremorne theatre is a very small intimate theatre. The accessible seating is either in the front row or up in the balcony. I find that the view from the balcony better as you can see the whole of the stage and you are not having to extend your neck for an extended period of time do so.
  • The accessible seating in the Lyric theatre in the second balcony would be fine if you have excellent eyesight and a wheelchair that sits in line with the normal seating. As a power wheelchair user that sits higher than normal my eye line sits higher than it should and therefore parts of the stage are obscured. I would recommend any of the other seating options.


The carpark is full sign does not mean all accessible parking spots are taken. If in doubt, ask and more often than not parks are still available

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