Matilda to stage relaxed performance

Published March 19, 2014

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s hit production of Matilda The Musical will present its first ever relaxed performance at the Cambridge Theatre later this year.

The specially adapted performance is due to take place on 15 June and will bring the stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s much-loved tale to audiences affected by autism and other learning disabilities.

While the RSC has previously staged relaxed performances at its home in Stratford-upon-Avon, the forthcoming performance of Matilda The Musical marks the first to be presented by the company in the West End.

The Olivier Award-winning production will be modified to reduce anxiety and stress for audience members, with lighting and sound levels adjusted to soften their impact. There will also be a more relaxed attitude towards noise during the performance and designated areas for those who feel the need to leave the auditorium.

The RSC’s Executive Director Catherine Mallyon said that she was “delighted” to announce the show’s first ever relaxed performance, commenting: “Many families of children with autism or children with a learning disability can be reluctant to attend public theatre performances together. Relaxed performances are a fantastic way of offering a warm and inclusive welcome to those families, giving them the chance to experience high quality, live theatre, often for the first time.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, which is working closely with the RSC in putting on the special performance, said: “It’s brilliant news that the RSC will be making adjustments to Matilda The Musical so that more people with autism and their families will be able to enjoy the magic of theatre. Tim Minchin has been a fantastic supporter of ours for many years and we’re thrilled to be working with him and all the team behind the show to put on this very special performance.”

Featuring music and lyrics by Minchin and a book by Dennis Kelly, Matilda The Musical tells the story of a young girl with loathsome parents and an intimidating headmistress who rises above her tormentors, discovering a very special talent along the way.

Matilda The Musical is the second West End musical to announce a relaxed performance in the past few weeks. Earlier this month Disney’s The Lion King’s brought news that it will stage its second autism-friendly performance on 4 May.

Ticket’s for Matilda The Musical’s relaxed performance are on offer at a reduced rate of £20 and can be booked by calling the RSC’s ticket hotline on 0844 800 1110 or in person at the Cambridge Theatre box office.

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