Essential Companion Scheme (ECS)

Villa Marina & Gaiety Theatre (VillaGaiety) in conjunction with Isle of Man Government is committed to enabling all our patrons to participate in our events equally with dignity and respect.

VillaGaiety would like everyone to enjoy all the services and facilities on offer and in order to further this commitment, have adopted the Essential Companion scheme. For the purposes of this policy, a person with “disability” is understood, as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 (section 1(1)), as anyone who has a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

VillaGaiety operates the Essential Companion Scheme for those who need somebody to be present, in order to assist them to readily access the theatre and its services, by the means of mobility or guidance.

The Essential Companion should familiarise themselves with the layout of the venue and the location of services. They should liaise with the staff if the person with a disability requires assistance, and take instructions should there be a need to evacuate the building. The Essential Companion is required to attend to the needs of the person with a disability at all times whilst on the premises.

How The Scheme Works 

Our Essential Companion scheme allows members a complimentary ticket so that they can bring an essential companion with them at no additional cost. To join, the person with the disability, or their appointed representative, must complete and sign the application form, and return it to the address at the bottom of the Application Form. The contact details on the form should be those of the person with a disability, not of the Essential Companion. The scheme is not open to, or intended, for those who simply require a companion/ friend to assist them with transportation to and from the venue. The scheme is not offered to anyone who can cope independently in a public venue.

Enjoyable Visit

The information that you provide us with will help to ensure that we provide the best service for you. There is a space on the form to tell us about your particular needs. For example is your mobility equipment of an unusual size or shape? Is it motorised? This information enables us to allocate the correct amount of space for you. All information is protected by the Data Protection Act 2002 and it will only be used for the purpose set out in this document.

VillaGaiety cannot provide unlimited access for its shows and events. The allocation of complimentary places will be determined by the ‘capacity’ for each event and provided on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Please note that hirer shows may not wish to be part of the scheme or offer a limited number of places, any concerns will need to be raised with them directly. All shows, promoted by VillaGaiety will offer this scheme.


It is accepted that a wheelchair may be used to assist in access to and around the venue and we accept that it may be preferred for you to transfer to a theatre seat. However, if you are transferring to a theatre seat, you will need to be independently capable of leaving the venue in the event of an evacuation, without access to your wheelchair. If you are unable to fulfil this, in line with Risk Assessments, Health and Safety and the Fire Safety Officer, you will need to remain in your wheelchair and if available we will relocate you to a wheelchair position.

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