Accessibility review : Comics Lounge

Tvfanatic By Tvfanatic, 4th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Theatre

Here I do a review of one of Melbourne's best live comedy venues the comics lounge. Read on to find out how I rate it in terms of being accessible for those with disabilities.

The comics lounge : What is it?

The comics lounge is a live comedy venue in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia that plays host to comedians both international and local and provides stand up comedy 6 nights of the week. It has long been renowned as one of Melbourne's best and regularly fills up with patrons regardless of what night of the week it is.

In terms of facilities it has a fully established bar and a menu consisting of snacks, main meals and dessert. The comics lounge is a long standing venue that provides an enjoyable night out overall.

Accessibility : How does it fair?

So the comics lounge is a venue which provides live stand up 6 nights a week with a full dining menu and bar, how is it in terms of being accessible?

The comics lounge : The good

The comics lounge as I have mentioned above provides an enjoyable night out, but in terms of accessibility the place is a disabled person's nightmare. About the only thing that is accessible here is the disabled toilet which is to your left as you exit the main stage area. The rest of the venue? Be prepared for a long walk or wheel to even get to the stage area. The inaccessibility of the venue is discussed below

The comics lounge : The bad

As much as I enjoy going to the venue and enjoy it as a great night out there really must be something said for the lack of accessibility of the place. The first problem that you will come across will be getting up to the main stage area itself. You have two choices : One : You climb up the two flights of stairs, which although they do have a hand rail does not negate the fact that stairs of any kind are inaccessible to those in a chair, or two : You ask one of the staff to take you around the back where the lift is. The second option might seem like the simple one if you are in a chair yes? Well no, it is not that simple.

The lift in this venue is actually outside the building itself and is down a side street which, when it's dark and late at night is not ideal. Furthermore this side street consists of cobbled pavement, which if you have ever been in a chair under any circumstances you will know that it is extremely annoying, irritating, and bumpy to drive on. The lift once you get to it can also not be accessed by manually pressing the button, you must wait for a member of staff to come and assist you in going up. Therefore despite there being a lift it is in an extremely inconvenient location which requires assistance to actually

Another major complaint is that some of the tables are actually upstairs, this of course could be resolved by booking a table downstairs but it raises the question, why must there be stairs there in the first place? It certainly doesn't add anything to the venue.

Finally, there is the issue of the bar, although it has a decent list of cocktails and drinks, you are not able to order drinks for the waiters that come around and take your order from the menu. Asking to do so will result in them simply stating that you are required to go and order at the bar. This is the case even if you are in a chair or walk on sticks.

Therefore again you are left with one or two options : You either walk/wheel yourself down to the bar, in which numerous people would have to make room for you by moving their chairs, thus inconveniencing others, or you ask someone else to go and get you a drink. Either way you end up feeling like you are being a pain to other people and one would think that someone in a chair or on sticks would be made an exception for, (they won't even get you a glass of water).

Therefore I have to rate this venue of being highly inaccessible for people with disabilities due to what you have to go to to actually get to the main venue itself

A few other small notes

* Most nights the show finishes around 10:30pm, and for some reason errol street is dead at this time of night. There are barely any cars around, let alone taxis, your best bet is to actually ring the cab company and book one, or flag one of the very few passing by.
* To their credit when I was leaving last night, they offered me assistance down the stairs, which I politely declined, although having an offer of assistance is a good gesture, it really doesn't make up for the overall lack of accessibility.

In conclusion

Although a night at the comics lounge is a great night out, the accessibility for people with disabilities is terrible and time consuming, it's more work then it should have to be. If you are willing to put up with stairs or using a lift in an alley way then it's okay, but if not, this simply isn't worth your time and effort.

1 and a half stars out of 5.


Accessible Spaces, Comedy, Comedy Club, Comics Lounge, Live Comedy, Melbourne, Review

Meet the author

author avatar Tvfanatic
21 year old with cerebral palsy living in Melbourne Australia. I have a love for crime shows and a degree in psychology, I also enjoy movies and reading, I'm just here to write about what I love :)

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
4th Jun 2015 (#)

It is really annoying when not much thought has gone into accommodating the needs of all - siva

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author avatar Joe King
9th Jun 2015 (#)

So much for wanting to be treat equal......

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author avatar Richard Head
9th Jun 2015 (#)

That should be TREATED you retarded fuck.

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author avatar Tvfanatic
23rd Jun 2015 (#)

I will not tolerate disabled slurs on my page

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author avatar Damian
9th Nov 2015 (#)

Are you sure that the wait staff not be able to serve alcohol has nothing to do with liquor licencing and legislation rather than the venue being inconsiderate towards the needs of patrons?

What are your constructive, practical suggestions for improving wheelchair access in the venue?

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author avatar Tvfanatic
5th Jul 2016 (#)

Hi Damian, thank you for your comment, they were allowed to serve alcohol, it's just that they refused to bring it to me, and instead insisted I had to go to the bar to buy it, irrespective of the fact that I was disabled and going to the bar would mean more stairs and more energy I would have to spend. Regarding access, it depends which country you are in, but simply, a lift in your venue should be standard etc

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