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Curious Incident stages relaxed performance

Published 17 April 2013

The National Theatre’s Olivier Award nominated production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time is to stage a relaxed performance later this year at the Apollo theatre.

The relaxed performance, which will be held on 22 June, forms part of the Relaxed Performance Project, a national scheme led by the Society of London Theatre, Theatrical Management Association and The Prince’s Foundation For Children & The Arts, and marks the National Theatre’s first relaxed performance in the West End.

The hit show about a teenager with behavioural difficulties, which is nominated in eight categories at this year’s Olivier Awards with MasterCard, opened to acclaim last year at the National’s Cottesloe theatre, where successful relaxed performances of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and Katie Mitchell’s production of Hansel And Gretel have previously been staged.

Designed to give individuals with autism spectrum conditions, learning disabilities and other sensory and communication disorders the opportunity to enjoy live theatre, relaxed performances are adapted in a number of ways to reduce anxiety and create a more supportive atmosphere, including removing strobes and flashing lights, reducing loud noises and embracing audience movement. Parts of the Apollo theatre’s foyer will also be designated as quiet areas where those needing to leave the auditorium during the performance can go to relax.

Following the performance, attendees will be invited to take part in a Q&A with the cast, who will remain in costume but out of character for the duration of the discussion.

Based on the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon and adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time is directed by Marianne Elliott with a cast including Olivier Award nominee Luke Treadaway as the story’s teenage protagonist, Niamh Cusack, Holly Aird, Matthew Barker, Sophie Duval and Seán Gleeson.

Described by Official London Theatre’s Charlotte Marshall as “a visual spectacular”, the acclaimed show tells the story of Christopher, a 15-year-old boy who embarks on a mission to find the person responsible for the murder of his neighbour’s dog. Exceptional at maths but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life, Christopher ventures on a journey that takes him beyond the safety of his own neighbourhood and into a world that is entirely unfamiliar.

The upcoming relaxed performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time is just one of the specially adapted performances that have taken place in theatres nationwide as part of the Relaxed Performance Project during the past year. Following an independent evaluation of the project, the results of which will be published later this autumn, the project hopes to encourage even more theatres to get involved and develop a best practice model for national and international use by the theatre industry.

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