Disney’s hit musical Aladdin has announced that its second dedicated Autism-Friendly Performance will take place at 1.30pm on Tuesday 28 August 2018. It follows the success of previous such performances which are designed to make the show more accessible for those affected by autism. The Lion King’s upcoming Autism-Friendly Performance on 3 June 2018 has now sold out.
Disney Theatrical Productions will work closely with The National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for autistic people and their families, to deliver the performance.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK. Although everyone on the autism spectrum is different, people may be under or oversensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours, which can make everyday life extremely challenging. They can also find social situations and unexpected changes a challenge, which can sometimes lead to extreme levels of anxiety.
Chris Pike, Autism Access Specialist at the National Autistic Society, said: “We were delighted to be offered the opportunity to work with Disney Theatrical Productions and the Prince Edward Theatre on this hugely successful show.
“There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, and many struggle to cope with unfamiliar places and everyday sights and sounds which others are able to filter out, such as artificial lighting, background music or traffic noise.
“Autistic people and their families tell us that they would love to visit the theatre, but because of sensory issues and anxiety in unfamiliar surroundings, they are prevented from doing so. Aladdin’s production team have taken great care in adapting the show, including having a ‘visual story’ online which can help autistic people prepare for their visit in advance. This means that for some of the audience on 28 August, this will be the very first time that they are able to experience the thrill of a live performance.”
Aladdin features the timeless songs from the 1992 animated film as well as new music written by Tony®, Olivier© and eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop Of Horrors). With lyrics from Olivier Award and two-time Oscar® winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony and Olivier Award, three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida), and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), and a book by Beguelin, Aladdin is directed and choreographed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
Disney’s Aladdin – an Autism-Friendly Performance takes place on Tuesday 28 August at 1.30pm. Tickets on sale www.aladdinthemusical.co.uk/autismfriendly/
Following the sold-out success of the previous relaxed performances of Matilda The Musical, the Royal Shakespeare Company will present its fifth at the Cambridge Theatre at 3pm on Sunday 10 June. The UK and Ireland Tour of the show began performances earlier this month and will host its first relaxed performance at Birmingham Hippodrome at 2pm on Thursday 19 July.
Building on the programme of relaxed performances that the RSC has been running in Stratford-upon-Avon since 2013, the RSC is proud to have been amongst the first to adopt and promote the concept. The National Autistic Society and Mousetrap Theatre Projects will again work closely with the RSC, offering full access to the theatre for people with autism and learning disabilities and their families.
The performance provides a relaxed environment for everyone, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety or stress, and with lighting and sound levels adjusted to soften their impact. Audience etiquette throughout the whole theatre is also relaxed with all audience members given the freedom to make noise and/or move about the auditorium according to their needs without restriction. Designated ‘chill-out’ areas are provided outside the auditorium with soft seating and activities available for people to use if they want to take a break. All theatre staff, crew and company members also receive specialist training in advance to anticipate a wider range of different audience needs.
In London, the Royal Shakespeare Company is offering tickets at a reduced rate which can be booked through the RSC Ticket Hotline or in person at the Cambridge Theatre box office. Tickets for the Birmingham Hippodrome relaxed performance can be made through the box office ticket sales line.
Specially trained staff will be able to help bookers by speaking to them directly and ensuring that all their specific needs and requirements are taken into consideration when assigning their seat allocation.
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 www.matildathemusical.com.
The Relaxed performance for Matilda in London will be at 3pm on Sunday 10 June and at The Birmingham Hippodrome at 2pm on Thursday 19 July 2018.