21 Dec First Relaxed Performance at Towngate Theatre in Basildon
This week Towngate Theatre in Basildon held their first ever relaxed performance of Aladdin which was hailed a great success.
UK Autism Charity Annakennedyonline met with the theatre to make a request for a relaxed performance after showcasing the very popular Autisms got Talent in October.
Anna Kennedy OBE founder of the charity together with The Avery’s Charity Champions of Essex of the charity have been working with the Theatre to explain what was involved in a relaxed performance.
Anna explained “Many aspects of a standard theatre experience can cause difficulties for autistic people. Busy foyers, unexpected music, lights going up and down, pyrotechnics and applause can all be unsettling for some children and adults. Even the interval can confuse individuals on the spectrum because it seems strange to leave the auditorium in the middle of an event.”
“During a relaxed performance, the house lights will often stay on during the show and families will be warned when to expect loud noises. For anyone overwhelmed during the performance, a “chill out” area will be provided.”
Anna added “In a number of the venues across the country, the show can be followed via speakers or a screen so that the audience is not disoriented by a disjointed story upon re-entering the auditorium. There are also pre-show walks around the theatre and a couple of the performers will introduce themselves on stage so individuals become familiar with the characters.”
Aston Every Autism Ambassador for the charity, Mayor of Basildon – Cllr David Harrison and Anna spoke to a couple of the performers backstage after the show to thank them for giving families such a wonderful time.