Following the sold-out success of the first two relaxed performances of Matilda The Musical in 2014 and 2015, the Royal Shakespeare Company will present a third relaxed performance at the Cambridge Theatre on Sunday 12th June at 3pm. This will be the seventh performance that the Royal Shakespeare Company has staged to date. 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 they want to take a break from being in the auditorium. The performance will also be audio-described.
The Royal Shakespeare Company is offering tickets at the reduced rate of £25 and £10 which can be booked through the RSC Ticket Hotline or in person at the RSC box office from Tuesday 9 February. 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.
Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company said: “We hope that everyone feels welcome at our theatres and our productions. Following the success of our first two relaxed performances of Matilda The Musical, we are so pleased to offer a third to people with autism and learning disabilities and their families, recognizing that it isn’t always easy to all come out together. The National Autistic Society and Mousetrap Theatre Projects have provided valuable support and I am delighted that relaxed performances are now a regular feature of our programme.”
Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society said: “More than 1 in 100 people in the UK are autistic. They and their families want to enjoy a great time at the theatre in the same way as everyone else, so we’re delighted to be working with the RSC again to put on a relaxed performance of Matilda The Musical. We’ve been heartened by the enthusiasm with which the RSC have taken on the task of adjusting the performance to meet the needs of this audience. This involves some technical changes to sound and lighting, setting up quiet areas for people who become overwhelmed and providing a group of trained volunteers and staff to provide a friendly welcome and support. It is wonderful to know that during this performance autistic people and their families will be understood, supported and accepted, so they can just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.”
Susan Whiddington, Director of Mousetrap Theatre Projects said: “Mousetrap Theatre Projects is delighted to be working with Matilda The Musical and the RSC once again to offer families with children with special needs the opportunity to see this fantastic show at a relaxed performance. After a recent relaxed performance, one family wrote to say “What you create with these events are a little bit of magic and pixie dust, memories which keep our families afloat during our more challenging day to day lives.”
Capturing the imagination of young and old alike, Matilda The Musical has now received over 50 awards in Stratford-upon-Avon, London, the USA and Australia and has been seen by more than four million people worldwide. In 2015 the London and Broadway productions were joined by the North American and Australian tours. After opening to rave reviews and winning a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Musical, the Australian production recently announced it will open at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre from 13 March 2016 for a strictly limited season.