Relaxed Performance Project 2013

Relaxed Perf ProjThe Relaxed Performance Project was conceived by Kirsty Hoyle and Becky Schutt as a response to the pockets of work happening in theatres across the UK which were attempting to provide specialist performances for people with autism and learning disabilities.  They brought together a high-profile group of venues and project partners to manage a 12 month project which aimed to: pilot the programming of Relaxed Performances in eight venues, evaluate the process and present findings to the theatre sector at a national conference.  The intention was to provide a starting point for all organisations to begin the process of programming Relaxed Performances as a way of diversifying their audiences.  The project was a great success and the conference saw attendees from over 50 UK arts organisations, the majority of whom had programmed a Relaxed Performance within 12 months of the conference.  For more details on this ground-breaking project please click the links below or watch the video above.

Relaxed Performance Pilot Project – Executive Summary
Relaxed Performance Pilot Project – Evaluation
Relaxed Performance Pilot Project – Case Studies

Relaxed Performance Audience Feedback:

‘’We’ve come today because we’re very interested in watching the performance of Romeo and Juliet but also, the fact that it’s a Relaxed Performance meant that it was suitable for the children. One of my children is autistic, so we had the availability of it being relaxed. If we need to leave and come back in, then we can, which you can’t always do in a mainstream performance, without disturbing people. When we saw that this was a Relaxed Performance, we thought it would be ideal’’
Audience Member, Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe)

‘’This is the first time that my son is in any kind of auditorium, this is the very first time. He did actually calm down a little bit as the show went on, which I was very pleased about. I think that the next time, he will know what to expect and not be so upset. I think gradually it will help him to focus a little bit more on the story, but this was a really good start. I have never taken him to any theatre before, but I think we will do this again’’
Audience Member, 1001 Nights (Unicorn Theatre)

‘’We’ve come to see the relaxed version of this production because I have Asperger’s. I’m very excited about it! I don’t go to the theatre too, too much. It’s fantastic what the theatres have done for kids like me, yes, great job!’’
Audience member, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

“I wholeheartedly support … making theatre accessible for disabled children using the relaxed performance format. It’s opportunities such as this that boost the confidence and communication skills of disabled children and inspire them for the future. I can’t wait for the next production.”
Esther McVey, Minister for Disabled People

”We thoroughly enjoyed this performance, and nobody minded that my daughter stood up several times. I hope you do more of them *uproarious applause*”
Audience member, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time