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Smart caption glasses

People wearing Smart Caption Glasses at a performance in the theatre

Smart caption glasses

Smart caption glasses are a revolutionary new way for people with hearing loss to enjoy performances at the National Theatre.

When wearing the glasses, users will see a transcript of the dialogue and descriptions of the sound from a performance displayed on the lenses of the glasses.

For the first time, service users can experience our productions from any seat in any theatre.

Glasses designed and manufactured by Epson

Smart caption glasses are the culmination of a 4 year collaboration between the National Theatre and speech and language experts led by Professor Andrew Lambourne

Smart caption glasses are supported by The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust and the Kirby Laing Foundation


How do I book a pair of caption glasses?

See the guide below for more details of how to book.
If you're booking for multiple productions and require glasses for each performance in your booking, you'll need to add glasses for each performance you've booked. 
Smart caption glasses are generally available for performances on, or shortly after the Press Night for each show.

How do smart caption glasses work?

Watch our instructional video to find out how to use the glasses.

Can I still wear my glasses when using smart caption glasses?

Yes you can. Smart caption glasses are adjustable and fit over your glasses.

Do I have to book a captioned performance to be able to book or use smart caption glasses?

No, you don't have to book for a captioned peformance. Smart glasses can be booked for any performance listed via the booking links at the bottom of this page.

Where do I collect my glasses when I arrive at the theatre?

When you arrive, please let a member of staff know that you would like to collect Smart Caption Glasses and they will direct you to the Smart Caption Glasses Collection Point. Please note that due to social distancing they will only be able to serve one person at a time so you may be asked to wait, but a socially distanced seat will be provided for you to wait.

How can I find out more about smart caption glasses?

For booking enquiries email the Box Office on [email protected] or call 020 7452 3961.
For more information about the glasses or our access provisions please email  [email protected].

Smart caption glasses will be available for the shows listed below

A guide to buying tickets and getting smart caption glasses

  1. Follow the show links below for performance listings where smart caption glasses will be offered
  2. Select a performance and add show tickets to your basket
  3. Then on the next page (/your-tickets), the smart caption glasses will be offered to add to your basket (subject to availability) if you dismiss the drinks and snacks option, or you will be given the option to add the smart caption glasses after adding drinks and snacks to your order
  4. Continue shopping or go to checkout


If you already have tickets for any of these shows, you can also book smart caption glasses by calling the Box Office on 020 7452 3961.

Hex and smart caption glasses

Rosalie Craig is among the cast of this mythic, big-hearted, new musical based on Sleeping Beauty. Rufus Norris directs with music by Jim Fortune and book by Tanya Ronder. 

Hex performances from 18 December

Manor and smart caption glasses

An explosive mix of people must survive the weather and each other. A darkly comic new play by Moria Buffini with Nancy Carroll and Shaun Evans.

Manor performances from 27 November

The Normal Heart and smart caption glasses

Marking 35 years since its explosive UK premiere, Dominic Cooke directs Larry Kramer’s groundbreaking play about the American AIDS crisis.

The Normal Heart performances from 6 October

Rockets and Blue Lights and smart caption glasses

Winsome Pinnock's award-winning play is a powerfully personal voyage through time. First staged at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, this astonishing and fiercely political new play by Winsome Pinnock was named winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award.

Rockets and Blue Lights performances from 4 September