KING'S TO HOST FIRST RELAXED PERFORMANCE OF PANTO
The King’s Theatre Edinburgh will host the first ‘relaxed performance’ of its legendary pantomime, exclusively for pupils from all eleven of the city’s special schools, which look after children with additional support needs. The performance is supported and made possible by Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids.
The relaxed performance of Aladdin, the King’s panto for 2014/15, will take place on Thursday 15 January 2015 at 10.30am. It is dedicated to the pupils of the city’s special schools and will welcome over 600 children from the following schools: Prospect Bank, Redhall, Rowanfield, Oaklands, Braidburn, St Crispin’s, Kaimes, Gorgie Mills, Panmure St Ann’s, Woodlands and Pilrig Park.
The Festival City Theatres Trust, which runs the Festival and King’s Theatres, hosted Scotland’s first relaxed performance with a special show of The Snowman at the Festival Theatre in December 2012, and then hosted two relaxed performances of its Studio Christmas show, The Selfish Giant, in December 2013. This year, the Trust is delighted to be providing a place for every pupil attending an Edinburgh special school to see a relaxed performance, either at the relaxed performances of Cloud Man in The Studio at the Festival Theatre held in December, or at the forthcoming relaxed performance of the panto.
Learning & Participation Manager, Cerin Richardson, says: ‘We’ve been working very closely with the City of Edinburgh Council’s Children & Families department to ensure we can be inclusive to all pupils from schools providing education to children with additional support needs. It means a lot to us to achieve that this year.’
Relaxed performances are specifically designed to welcome people with a range of additional support needs including, mild to complex learning difficulties including Autism Spectrum conditions and other sensory and communication disorders. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement in the auditorium and some small changes made to the light, sound and special effects of the show. An easy way to understand the atmosphere is perhaps, 'the opposite of the quiet carriage on the train'.
Andy Gray, who plays Wishy Washy in Aladdin said: ‘I value this opportunity the King’s has given us to do a Relaxed Performance. After all... theatre is for everybody!! ’
Rachel Smith, Charity Manager for Cash for Kids, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be supporting this wonderful event. Cash for Kids is proud to be a local charity, helping local children and the relaxed performance provides a fantastic opportunity for children across Edinburgh to experience the magic of panto in an environment specifically designed for them.’
Rosie Wilson, Service Manager: Special Schools and Specialist Provision, City of Edinburgh Council, appraised the Trust’s work to date in hosting relaxed performances saying, ‘The relaxed performance of The Snowman in December 2012 demonstrated what could be achieved and how we can improve access to expressive arts in imaginative and innovate ways.’