Friday, 20 February 2015

Matilda announces second relaxed performance

Following the sold-out success of the first relaxed performance of Matilda The Musical in 2014, the Royal Shakespeare Company will present a second relaxed performance at the Cambridge Theatre on Sunday 14th June at 3pm. 

This forthcoming performance of Matilda The Musical will be the fifth relaxed performance that the Royal Shakespeare Company has staged to date across their projects. 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.

This performance of Matilda The Musical builds on the programme of relaxed performances that the RSC has been running in Stratford-upon-Avon since 2013, when it was amongst the first to adopt and promote the concept. The performance provides a relaxed environment, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety or stress.

Lighting and sound levels are adjusted to soften their impact and there is a different approach to noise and moving around the auditorium during the performance. Designated ‘chill-out’ areas are provided outside the auditorium with soft seating and activities for people to use if being in the auditorium becomes overwhelming for them.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is offering tickets for this performance at the reduced rate of £25 and £10 which can be booked through the RSC ticket hotline 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. 

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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 The Musical. 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."

Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company said: "The last relaxed performance of Matilda The Musical 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. As we have found with Matilda The Musical and our other shows in Stratford upon Avon, these specially tailored performances are a welcome addition for those audience members who have autism or other disabilities and who find it hard to attend live theatre. 

"The inclusive welcome and relaxed atmosphere give everyone the chance to come and experience our work, and this is very important to us. This was illustrated recently at our relaxed performance of The Christmas Truce which was a hugely enjoyable experience for audiences and everyone involved. Our actors and staff who work on the show found the experience profoundly rewarding. We hope to continue, along with other UK theatres, to make this a standard feature of our artistic programming, along with our captioned and audio described performances.”

Capturing the imagination of young and old alike, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical continues to play to packed houses at the Cambridge Theatre in London. Seen by over 1.5 million people since it transferred to the West End in October 2011, the production was commissioned by the RSC and played to sold-out audiences at the RSC’s The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for twelve weeks from November 2010 to January 2011. In 2014 Matilda The Musical celebrated its 1000th performance in London and tickets are now on sale until 20th December 2015.

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