Wednesday 27 October 2021
We’re very proud to be starting to introduce a considered inclusive performance option in some show weeks, which supports the enjoyment and comfort of those who may otherwise be unsettled or have difficulty attending our theatre.
What is a Relaxed Performance?
Basically a relaxed performance takes a more laid-back approach to noises or movement coming from the audience than at a regular performance. It’s a single performance of fundamentally the same show, but with some added elements or specifically redesigned ones around the needs of individuals who’d appreciate a less formal experience, and benefit from help preparing for their visit. Relaxed performances give everyone permission to relax and respond naturally. Indeed many people feel they offer a more dynamic theatrical experience, which benefits everyone. Audience members are therefore welcome to leave their seats, make noise and move around as they wish, and small changes to the performance itself help to further reduce any potential stressors. Also a quieter, Chill Out area is made available on site for people to use if they need a break away from the show.
The aim is to keep all the magic & joy of the theatre experience but in a more relaxed, accommodating environment.
Who’s it for?
These performances are open to everyone but particularly benefit those who find attending the theatre stressful, confusing or overwhelming. Or who enjoy it more if they have a better idea of what to expect. As example this may be people experiencing autistic spectrum conditions, learning difficulties, sensory and communication difficulties or dementia. So to help prepare for their visit a visual/social story is made available in advance (online), to help familiarise them with the HHT venue and the actual production. They may also like to visit on one of our Saturday Open Mornings.
Why provide relaxed performances?
TTC is keen to be a theatre organisation relevant to and about its community, and is in a better position to do this by extending a warm welcome and open attitude to the way it does things.
Relaxed performances offer a way to reach new audiences and thinks about equality of experience. One in five people in the UK identifies as disabled so there’s a strong case for taking all reasonable steps to nurture improved accessibility to our productions.
How is it different to other performances?
Here are some examples of small changes that may be made and additional facilities provided:
- The auditorium lighting will be dimmed not dark throughout the performance.
- Some of the effects in the show may be toned down, especially if they involve sudden loud noises or flashes of bright light or someone may warn you about loud noises
- Someone will talk briefly before the show starts to help put everyone at their ease
- Audience members will be free to move around during the show and make some noise.
- Additional ushers will be around to help.
- A chill out space will be available so there is somewhere quiet for people to go
- We will post online covering your visit to the theatre and a plot summary
How can I find out more?
If you would like any more information on the Relaxed Performance or a copy of our Visual Story please email firstname.lastname@example.org