The Marlowe Theatre have organised their first relaxed performance.
This year, their successful pantomime will have an additional performance. On January 6th, there will be a performance of Aladdin that is specifically designed and adapted for people with a wide range of disabilities, including those on the autistic spectrum.
The Marlowe Theatre have said that this performance will be less formal. For example the doors will be kept open for ease of coming and going, there will be a ‘chill-out’ zone in the foyer and the sound levels and lighting will be slightly changed. Also, no strobe lighting or pyrotechnics will be used.
Jodie Mills, of Canterbury, mum to five-year-old Stanley, and Thomas, who is four and who has autism, is looking forward to her son getting the same access to the show as other children.
“Some people are lucky enough to get that enjoyment from standard performances, but all of us are different and to have other needs considered, such as sensory and social skills, makes the difference between having that opportunity and sadly not.”
Aladdin will be Jodie and Thomas’s first relaxed performance and she believes they will both benefit from it: “It will be a positive experience for me – I’ll be supported just by the simplicity of it being focussed around the potential and varying needs of my child.
“I’m hoping for a much more relaxed Thomas, less pressure on him to conform is just one way he’ll be able to cope with his anxieties and other issues. Thomas will get the chance to enjoy something he wouldn’t ordinarily be able to even try.”
Jodie, Thomas and Stanley are pictured with Aladdin star, Phil “Mister Maker” Gallagher. He is also excited about the new performance: “Relaxed performances are a wonderful idea and I’m looking forward to being part of this one – The Marlowe’s first, and mine! It’s another way in which as many people as possible get to enjoy the panto and be inspired by their theatrical experience.”
Theatre Director Mark Everett is delighted The Marlowe is offering its first relaxed performance: “Audio-described, signed and captioned shows are now standard for us; the former being for our blind and visually-impaired customers, the latter two for those who are Deaf or hearing-impaired.
“To be able to offer customers – especially children – with different access needs to these, their own performance, is amazing. And judging by the response we have had so far, it is one that is much needed; it is being very warmly welcomed.”
The relaxed performance of Aladdin is at The Marlowe Theatre at 1pm on Tuesday 6 January, 2015. Tickets, costing £10 (booking fee applies), are available from the Box Office on 01227 787787, or in person. Tickets are available now. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.