The musical was the West End’s first-ever autism-friendly performance in April 2013. Disney worked closely with the National Autistic Society to create an adapted performance more suitable to those affected by the estimated 500,000 people in the UK with an autistic spectrum condition.
These dedicated performances of The Lion King feature modifications to the booking process, performance and the theatre environment, including:
• The theatre’s foyer includes designated quiet and activity areas, which are staffed by experts in autism throughout the performance should anyone need to leave their seats
• Slight adjustments are made to the performance itself, including the reduction of jarring sounds or strobe lighting that face the audiences
• The cast of The Lion King along with Lyceum Theatre box office and front of house staff have been given training to understand the needs of an audience of families and friends with children and adults who have an autism spectrum disorder
• An autism-friendly website and booking system has been set up specifically for this performance, including a downloadable ‘social story’ to help people with autism understand the process of a visit to the theatre, thus aiding their comprehension of the experience and reducing anxiety by explaining each step from arriving in the foyer to the final curtain call.
Friends and families can find out more information and buy tickets at www.lionkingautismfriendly.co.uk. Tickets are sold at a specially discounted rate and can be selected on a virtual map of the auditorium.