What a wonderful morning I’ve had at Cast’s Relaxed Performance of their pantomime, Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood. Oh yes I have!! It really has been fantastic and I’ve been so thrilled to find how committed the entire team at Cast are to making their theatre accessible to all.
Upon entry to the theatre, everyone attending was made to feel so welcome and the friendly, approachable staff handed teachers and carers an information sheet which offered advice about the resources available including ear defenders for the performance, and adaptive cutlery and drinking bottles at the café. This info sheet also offered advance warning of a scene involving small soft balls being thrown throughout and by the audience so that the children could be prepared in advance of this. This was all in addition to the Social Story which Cast also makes available so that relatives, carers and school staff are able to use this fantastic resource to prepare the individuals for their visit to theatre so that they know what to expect.
All loud bangs throughout the performance were reduced, noisy pyrotechnics removed, and the children had the space to get up and move around when they needed as the theatre had deliberately not been sold to capacity.
Throughout the performance, I was also able to visit the theatre’s Sensory Space with a couple of children, which is such a fantastic resource. Once the children had accessed some of the sensory resources available, they were able to get comfortable on the beanbags in the live stream room and return to enjoying the performance in this quiet and calming environment.
I highly recommend a visit to one of Cast’s Relaxed Performances and it’s such an honour to be working with the team there to support them as they develop their Sensory Space and continue to offer relaxed performances, making adaptations which optimise how members of the audience with additional needs are able to engage with and access such enjoyable productions!