The theatre is in Old Union Yard Arches, a premise of businesses housed under railway arches very near Southwark Station. As you enter Old Union Yard Arches from Union Street, you first encounter Union Street Theatre and its bar, then two restaurants, and finally Cervantes Theatre, in what is officially Arch 26. Old Union Yard Arches is pedestrianized.
The following bus stops near the Theatre are: SA, SB (190 metres from the entrance of Old Union Yard Arches, and 240 metres from the Theatre entrance), V and W, and the following bus routes stop near the Theatre: 40, 63, N63, and N89.
If you get off at bus stop SB which is on the east side of Blackfriars Road, you will need to remain on that side of the road and head towards North (the river). There will be two minor streets to cross along that side (the roads lead to a residential area and so there is little traffic). There are no crossing boxes or traffic lights.
If coming from the bus stop SA which leaves you at Blackfriars Road, you cross the road and head south along the east side of the street towards Elephant and Castle.
[BBC Ouch blog article on pedestrian crossings].
The first turn on your right will be Union Street. On the corner where Blackfriars Road and Union Street meet there is a sculpture of a dog eating out of a pot up above a pole (it resembles a streetlight with a dog on top of it). You then walk East down Union Street until
you cross under a railway arch, and Old Union Yard Arches will be on your right. In Union Street there are trees on the side nearer the road, and big orange streetlights by the small
wall on the other side, nearer the residential area. There are no other known obstructions between the bus stops and the main entrance of Old Union Yard Arches.
There are a series of inclines along Union Street: after the Lord Nelson pub, there are inclines with little bumps on the pavement on each side when crossing the road leading to the residential area. Under the bridge a section of pavement slopes slightly downwards. The entrance to Old Union Yard Arches, directly after the railway arch, also slopes downwards. There is a spiralling wire sculpture attached to the railway arch wall made out of steel and red spray.
Sounds on the route from the bus stop to the theatre are dominated by the busy traffic of Blackfriars Road and Union Street. The Lord Nelson pub on Union Street, is usually quite full and you will be able to hear people on the outside terrace. When you walk under the railway arch, the sound becomes more echoing. As soon as you enter Old Union Yard Arches, there are three restaurants and bars before reaching the arch where the theatre is located; there will be the smell of food and and the sound of people.
An alternative route, when you get off at Blackfriars road is, instead of going down Union Street, to walk along Surrey Row (parallel to and South of Union St.) on the left side of the street (as you walk eastward). It is quieter than Union Street. There are two small roads to cross that again lead to the same residential area as the ones on Blackfriars Road and Union Street. After crossing the railway arch in Surrey Road, it is possible to turn left to enter Old Union Yard Arches – there are no restaurants on this side of the Old Union Yard Arches premises. This entrance, however, is sometimes locked. If this is the case, keep walking down Surrey Road to Great Suffolk Street, turn left and you will find an entrance.
If arriving by London Underground, Southwark Station is 210 metres from the entrance of Old Union Yard Arches, and 260 metres from the entrance to the Theatre. Southwark Station is served by the Jubilee Line. As you get out of Southwark Station, on your left is the major junction between Blackfriars Road, The Cut and Union Street. Cross Blackfriars road to the other side, and you will find yourself at the beginning of Union Street. If you cross to the other side of Union Street, you will head away from the Blackfriars Road junction, along a quiet street with trees on the roadside of the pavement and a small wall on your right, which borders a big housing estate building (there are two minor entrances to the parking space in front of the building). You will then pass the Lord Nelson pub, after which is a junction with a road leading to the right. Cross the road and keep walking down Union Street and you will cross under a railway arch. Right after the bridge is the entrance to Old Union Yard Arches.
If you arriving by car, drop off points are at either entrance of Old Union Yard Arches, both the entrance from Union Street, or the entrance from Great Suffolk Street, which leads South from the Tate Modern. If you enter the arches through Great Suffolk Street, you need to turn left and go past the arches housing the businesses The African Centre and Captain Fantastic, and you will reach Cervantes Theatre.
The nearest mainline stations are Blackfriars to the North, and Elephant and Castle to the South.
Waterloo Cab Service is very close to the Theatre and is open 24/7. Their phone number is 020 74073456.
On arrival, the Theatre is located under a railway arch, one of the few that comprise Old Union Yard Arches. The façade covering the arch is made out of glass. The Main entrance are doors in the middle of the glass façade, which open to either side. There are no steps or ramps. There are two doors – both are the same size, and close together. The door nearer to the middle of the arch is the main entrance. The other door leads to a disabled toilet, which can also be accessed from inside.
Three or four steps in from the main door, there is a flight of stairs against the front wall which are at right angles to the entrance, leading up to the right, to the bar area and the main toilets. There is light along the stairs and a blue big light hanging at the top of the stairs.
The busy entrance hall is predominantly red in tone. The interior lighting is muted, though more light shines through the glass facade. There is a box office table on the left approximately four steps from the main door, which is reception, and where you collect your ticket. There is a large lamp near the glass door and behind the table. There will always be
at least two people behind the box office table. One will be in charge of tickets, and the other will attend to general enquiries. Often there will be additional people to assist.
Across the glass wall from the inside of the building (to the left of the main door) there is a sofa-like seat. There is a door in the front left corner as you come into the entrance
hall, which leads to the auditorium. The door opens outwards. Above this door there is a sculptural intervention with the backlit words ‘Cervantes Theatre’ made out of scrap metal.
In the upstairs area there is a bar immediately at the top of a curving flight of stairs. To the right, there is a big room with several sofas surrounding a coffee table, and further chairs and sofa chairs surrounding circular folding tables.
The bar is stocked with beer, wine, and soft drinks, as well as a range of teas. There is no food apart from light snacks. A series of light bulbs hang behind the bar. At the far right
corner of the room, there are the toilet facilities, which are connected with the main room.To the right as you enter (there is no door) there are two sinks. To the left, two sets of doors lead
to the toilets. They are both for women and men. Next to the entrance to the toilets is an external glass wall, which is another source of light.
In the upstairs area Spanish music is played both before and after performances, which can be heard from the entrance hall. The upstairs area is also quite noisy as people usually have a drink and talk before and after the show.
The auditorium is on one level. There is only one route to the auditorium: it is accessed from the ground floor, through a door in the entrance hall that is in front and to the right of the main
street door. There will usually be someone in front of the door to guide people.
The auditorium is horseshoe shaped. It is modern in style, with black walls and wooden seats with red covering that flip up. The patrons enter from the left to the back of the auditorium. The audience seats are on the right, and the stage (at ground level and marked with wooden boards on the floor) will be in front.
There are three banked rows of seats in the centre and at the left hand side of the stage, with the front row at ground level. There are only two rows of seats on the right hand side of the stage. The wheelchair positions are on the left of the central section of seating (next to the sound stage, which is at the left of the room, and in front of the small corridor that leads to the disabled toilet). There is no assigned seats.
On the evening of an audio description, the doors will open at 7:10 so that visually impaired audience can enter and listen to the introductory notes, which will begin at 7:15 and finish at 7:30, when the play starts.
Both the tickets, headsets, deposit for use of headsets, braille and large print cast lists are collected from the Box office, located in the table to the left of the main entrance door at the ground floor.
Cervantes Theatre is accessible for wheelchair users. Old Union Yard Arches is at ground level. Once inside, it resembles an enclosed wide corridor. Cervantes Theatre also has step-free access to the auditorium, an accessible toilet in the ground floor, and removable seats for wheelchair use. The disabled toilet on the ground floor is accessible either through the outside door or through the auditorium. If anyone wishes to use it, they should inform a member of staff. Unfortunately there is no lift to the upstairs area where the bar and main toilets are.
Please note that this information has been supplied by the venue and although every effort has been made to check details, you may still have some queries. In this case, we would ask you to contact the Theatre direct for clarification.
Useful information and contact numbers
We can accommodate guide dogs. We would prefer that patrons inform us in advance so we can make the necessary preparations, and also know how many dogs we will need to accommodate, as we are a small theatre. Patrons should call the general Cervantes Theatre number: 020 3633 4406. An assigned staff member can take care of the dog when the owner is enjoying the show; alternatively we are also happy to let dogs inside the auditorium. However, as we are a small theatre, we would have to assess the situation is on the night (if there are too many dogs it might be preferable for them to stay outside).
The theatre uses a radio system for audio description; the radio signal is transmitted across the whole auditorium. Receivers, either stethoscope models, or belt-pack models with separate headphones, will be supplied by the theatre and staff will demonstrate how to use them. You may want to bring your own headphones and request a belt-pack receiver.