A DEAF woman has hit out at York Theatre Royal for moving the day of their captioned pantomime performance from a Saturday to a Friday.

Ruth MacMullen, 28, regularly attends the show with her family but says she has been left “disappointed and confused” after the theatre made the switch, meaning none of her family are able to attend.

Her partner, parents and niece will all be at work and her schoolgirl sister, who is also deaf, will be at school during the performance.

Miss MacMullen, who has studied and worked in York for a decade, has accused the theatre of being inaccessible.

She said: "Myself and my family have attended the captioned pantomime at the York Theatre Royal every year for years now - it's become a real family tradition.

"I am both disappointed and confused about this decision.

"They have two sign language performances of the pantomime, one on a weekday afternoon and one on a Saturday.

"There are 10 million hard of hearing and deaf people in the UK but only a small percentage of these use sign language. The captioned shows provide a lot of accessibility to a wide sector of the populace.

"I just don't feel like they are giving equally to all sections of their community at the moment."

Theatre bosses told The Press they decided to move the show because they were concerned people were missing out on their accessible performance on a Saturday.

Miss MacMullen added: "This still makes the performance inaccessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing people who work or who have to travel from a distance to see a captioned performance.

"The very small number of captioned performances that they offer each year suggests to me that accessibility is not a very high priority."

Liz Wilson, chief executive of York Theatre Royal, said: "We received Miss MacMullen’s query and it became clear this decision does not satisfy everybody and we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience it has caused her and her family.

"Our captioning equipment is shared amongst a number of other venues in the region and therefore, it is now not possible to programme another captioned performance during the pantomime season.

"However, we will be re-evaluating our programming of this performance for the future.

“We are committed to ensuring our performances are accessible to all and during the pantomime have also programmed two audio described performances with touch tours, and two British Sign Language interpreted performances.”