Theatre News

RSC to stage second relaxed performance of Matilda

Relaxed performances see the production adapted for those with autism and learning disabilities

A scene from Matilda

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced its second relaxed performance of Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre, which will take on Sunday 14 June at 3pm.

The RSC, which has previously staged relaxed performances of other productions, works with the National Autistic Society and Mousetrap Theatre Projects to make performances accessible to people with autism and learning disabilities.

Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society, said: "We are delighted that the RSC has shown such commitment to improving access for people with autism to fantastic shows such as Matilda.

"Trips to the theatre can pose enormous challenges to those living with the condition, but productions like these which are tailored, particularly to their sensory needs, enable whole families to experience the thrill of live theatre together."

A relaxed performance sees elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety or stress. Lighting and sound levels are adjusted to soften their impact and audience members are free to move around the auditorium during the performance. Designated 'chill-out' areas are provided outside the auditorium with soft seating and activities.

Catherine Mallyon, executive director of the RSC, said: "The last relaxed performance of Matilda was incredibly successful and received such positive feedback, that we are now planning to present more of these performances across as many of our productions as possible… The inclusive welcome and relaxed atmosphere give everyone the chance to come and experience our work, and this is very important to us."

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