The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will present a ‘relaxed performance’ of Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre as part of its work with the National Autistic Society (NAS) aimed at offering full access to the theatre for people with autism and learning disabilities.
This relaxed performance of Matilda The Musical, which will take place on Sunday, June 15, is the latest in a series of specialist performances that the RSC has been running in Stratford-upon-Avon since 2013.
The performance will provide a relaxed environment, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety or stress. Lighting and sound levels will be adjusted to soften their impact and there will be a relaxed attitude to noise and moving around the auditorium during the performance. Designated ‘chill-out’ areas will be provided outside the auditorium with soft seating and activities for people to use if being in the auditorium becomes overwhelming for them.
Catherine Mallyon, executive director of the RSC, said: “I am truly delighted to announce our first relaxed performance of Matilda The Musical, building on our commitment to offer the best environment and welcome for children, young people and families who might otherwise feel excluded from our work. Many families of children with autism or children with a learning disability can be reluctant to attend public theatre performances together.
“Relaxed performances are a fantastic way of offering a warm and inclusive welcome to those families, giving them the chance to experience high quality, live theatre, often for the first time. We are delighted to be part of the growing number of theatres across the UK helping to make relaxed performances a standard feature of British theatre-going.”
Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS, added: “Autism is a serious, lifelong disability and the challenges the condition bring can make it difficult to enjoy activities such as trips to the theatre, which many people take for granted. It’s brilliant news that the RSC will be making adjustments to Matilda The Musical so that more people with autism and their families will be able to enjoy the magic of theatre. Tim Minchin has been a fantastic supporter of ours for many years and we’re thrilled to be working with him and all the team behind the show to put on this very special performance.”
The RSC is offering tickets for this performance at a reduced rate of £20, booked through the RSC ticket hotline (0844 800 1100) or in person at the box office. All bookers will be sent a visual story to help them familiarise themselves with the plot, characters and the setting before they arrive at the theatre. Detailed event and transport information will also be available from the dedicated ‘relaxed’ performance section of www.Matildathemusical.com.