Stratford theatre hosts relaxed performance for families

CHILDREN and young people with autism, learning disabilities and sensory and communication difficulties can enjoy a tailored performance of a family show in Stratford on Monday.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is bringing a ‘relaxed performance’ of its new stage adaptation of Russell Hoban’s The Mouse and His Child to the RSC Theatre at 1.15pm.

The matinee will launch a nationwide relaxed performance project being piloted by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), the Theatrical Management Association (TMA) and the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.

The idea is to allow children to enjoy theatre in an environment where performance is adjusted to reduce anxiety or stress - for example by making changes to sound and lighting to reduce the element of surprise and soften their impact - and the theatre will have a relaxed attitude to noise and moving around the auditorium during the performance.

Jacqui O’Hanlon, the RSC’s director of education, said: “The Mouse and His Child is a show aimed at families and children and it is particularly exciting that just by making a number of small but important adjustments, we can open that experience up to young people and families who might not experience live theatre otherwise.

“I am thrilled that our production will be the first to pilot this brilliant UK-wide project – and I hope that in time, relaxed performances will become a standard feature of British theatre-going.”

The project has been made possible through funding from the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation.

Tickets cost £5 for children and £10 for adults. Those who make reservations in advance will be sent a visual story to help them familiarise themselves with the plot, characters and the setting before coming to see the show.

To book, call 0844 800 1110.