The National Theatre of Scotland, in partnership with the National Autistic Society Scotland, will stage the first autism-friendly theatre performance in Scotland later this month.

The performance, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ seasonal classic A Christmas Carol, will be held at a specially crafted performance space at The Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy on Sunday, December 16 at 2.30pm.

This performance is part of a growing trend in theatre programming in the UK to make work more accessible for people with autism. The National Theatre of Scotland joins a number of organisations to host autism-friendly performances in 2012.

The National Theatre of Scotland has worked closely with the National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland to seek advice on how best to support people with the condition and their families. During this performance there will a reduction in the sensory intensity of the show with minor lighting and sound adjustments as well as a ‘familiarisation’ period prior to the show starting, which will entail a tour of the set and an introduction to the cast and puppets. The audience will also be able to spend time choosing a seating arrangement that they are comfortable with.

Dr Robert Moffat, national director of NAS Scotland, said: “Many of our supporters, who are people with autism and their families tell us they are keen to celebrate Christmas with fun activities, but can struggle to access mainstream entertainment venues.

“By making some simple adjustments to their performance of A Christmas Carol, the National Theatre of Scotland has given families affected by autism a brilliant opportunity to enjoy the same Christmas entertainments many people take for granted, in an atmosphere where they don’t risk being judged.”

Marianne Maxwell, audience development manager at the National Theatre of Scotland, added: “We are always keen to explore new ways to welcome new audiences to our work. We are delighted to be working so closely with the National Autistic Society Scotland to premiere our first relaxed performance during our ON at Fife co-production of A Christmas Carol.”

The Sunday, December 16 performance of A Christmas Carol is a one-off afternoon performance and the intimate venue has 70 available seats.

To find out more, book your tickets and to discuss your specific requirements please contact Marianne Maxwell on Marianne.maxwell@nationaltheatrescotland.com or 0141 227 9017.