Theatre News

War Horse to stage relaxed performance

The show is the latest West End hit to offer an autism-friendly version

The National Theatre's award-winning production War Horse is to stage its first relaxed performance later this year.

Held in association with The National Autistic Society (NAS), the performance will take place at the New London Theatre on 20 September 2014 at 2pm.

Relaxed performances are designed for people with autism, sensory or communication disorders or learning disability. Audience members are free to come and go as they please, and there are designated 'chill-out' areas in the foyer and bar area. Lighting and sound levels are adjusted to soften their impact, and there is a "relaxed attitude to noise and moving around the auditorium during the performance".

Chris Harper, producer of War Horse at the New London Theatre, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be working with the National Autistic Society for this special performance of War Horse. The audience reaction to the show has been overwhelming since War Horse opened some seven years ago and we are excited about opening it up to a new audience with the help of the NAS."

NAS chief executive Mark Lever added: "Autism is a serious, lifelong disability and many people with the condition are acutely sensitive to everyday sights and sounds, which other people take for granted and are able to filter out, such as fluorescent lighting, background music or traffic noise. These can make activities such as trips to the theatre extremely frightening and stressful for them."

Previous National productions to have held relaxed performances include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Elephantom.