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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 on YouTube 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. The smart caption glasses will be offered to add to your basket (subject to availability)
  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.

All of Us and smart caption glasses

Writer and comedian Francesca Martinez leads an ensemble cast in her debut play, directed by Ian Rickson (Translations).

All of Us performances from 13 August

The Corn is Green and smart caption glasses

A sensation when it first premiered, Emlyn Williams’ semi-autobiographical play, is given a bold new staging by director Dominic Cooke (Follies) in its first London revival for 35 years.

The Corn is Green performances from 20 April

The Father and the Assassin and smart caption glasses

The story of the man who murdered Gandhi. A gripping new play that traces Nathuram Godse’s life from devout follower of Mahatma Gandhi, through to his radicalisation and their tragic final encounter.

The Father and the Assassin from 24 May

Hex and smart caption glasses

Our big-hearted musical based on Sleeping Beauty. Rufus Norris directs with music by Jim Fortune and book by Tanya Ronder


Hex performances from 8 December

Middle and smart caption glasses

Following their five-star production of Beginning, writer David Eldridge and director Polly Findlay reunite for this raw, touching and funny portrait of a 21st-century marriage.

Middle performances from 9 May

Much Ado About Nothing and smart caption glasses

Escape to the Italian Riviera with Shakespeare’s timeless romantic comedy. Cast includes Katherine Parkinson (Home, I'm DarlingThe IT Crowd) and John Heffernan (DraculaShe Stoops to Conquer).​

Much Ado About Nothing performances from 20 July