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Disney's Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Disney’s Aladdin announces second autism-friendly performance

Published 4 April 2018

Disney’s Aladdin will host its second dedicated Autism-Friendly performance at the Prince Edward Theatre this August.

The 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. 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.

Disney’s The Lion King’s upcoming Autism-Friendly Performance on 3 June has now sold out.

These dedicated Autism-Friendly performances of Aladdin include modifications to the booking process, performance and the theatre environment, including:

  • The theatre’s foyer includes designated quiet and activity areas; staffed by experts in autism throughout the performance should anyone need to leave their seats.
  • Slight adjustments are made to the performance itself, including the reduction of jarring sounds or strobe lighting that face the audience.
  • The cast of Aladdin, along with Prince Edward Theatre box office and front of house staff, have been given training to understand the needs of an audience made up of adults and children who are autistic.
  • A specific website has been set up for this performance, linking to a dedicated booking page. The website includes a downloadable ‘visual story’ to help people with autism understand the process of a visit to the theatre, thus aiding their comprehension of the experience and reducing anxiety by explaining each step from arriving in the foyer to the final curtain call.

Audience members can find out more information and purchase tickets on the Disney’s Aladdin website. Tickets are sold at a specially reduced rate and can be selected on a virtual map of the auditorium.

Nancy Shakerley, Education and Outreach Manager for Disney Theatrical Group, said: “We are delighted to announce our second Autism-Friendly Performance at Aladdin in what will be the show’s third year in the West End.

“Taking place in the school holidays we hope that this will be a more accessible and relaxed performance for people with autism, as well as their family and friends. We continue to work closely with our partners, the National Autistic Society. This performance is becoming one of the highlights of our year!”

Disney's Aladdin at Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Disney’s Aladdin at Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

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.”

Disney’s Aladdin is a stunning rags-to-riches story, and 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).

Find out more about Disney’s Aladdin here.

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aladdin alan menken disney extra performance prince edward theatre show announcement