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Second Playhouse autism friendly performance a resounding success

16th January 2013 Jack and the Beanstalk 2012 Adam Keast 2 © Robert Day

As part of an on-going policy to make theatre more accessible for everyone, the Playhouse held its second autism friendly show with a tailor-made performance of Jack and the Beanstalk, the rock ‘n’ roll panto on Tuesday 15 January.

This performance built on the success of last year’s relaxed/autism friendly performance of the rock ‘n’ roll panto, the theatres’ first of this type and one of the first outside London at the time.

Slight adjustments were made to the performance including lighting, sound and special effects to suit the audience based on expert advice. These changes were also reflected in the front of house areas allowing audience members to respond and interact with the show however they feel. There was a 'chill-out' area and children and families left and entered the auditorium throughout the show to suit their needs.

Audience feedback has already been tremendously positive in what was an exciting and fulfilling night for staff and audience members alike.

One audience member said: “I would just like to thank your theatre, performers and its lovely staff for putting on the autism friendly show. We had a great couple of hours.”

Before the show two lucky audience members, Luis Marshall and Adam Dunbabin, were given the chance to meet Jack and Alana on stage.

 Aretha Ayeh (Alana), audience member Luis Marshall and Toby Lord (Jack)

Aretha Ayeh (Alana), audience member Adam Dunbabin and Toby Lord (Jack)

The Everyman and Playhouse are proud to be able to offer an autism friendly performance to provide families the opportunity to experience a fun night out they can enjoy together with the comfort of knowing the production is being performed with them specifically in mind.

The idea of introducing a performance such as this came from the Everyman and Playhouse’s regular meetings with their Access Forum. The forum advise on a range of issues and it was suggested a performance of this sort would be beneficial to many families and individuals who were previously not able to access and fully enjoy the live theatre experience due to the constraints that normal theatre-viewing etiquette requires.

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