Rapunzel Relaxed Performance

Written by Cath Moyse - Sun 4th Feb 2024

Last weekend, Hayley and Jenni came to our rehearsal to give us an overview of Bicester Autism, our nominated charity for this year's pantomime. It was very humbling to hear about the amazing help they give to over 600 local families - organising social events, assisting with SEN applications and signposting parents to the relevant support organisations. It's just the two of them running this fabulous charity, so they need any assistance we can give them.

Our Thursday morning show will be a relaxed performance to make it more amenable to audience members living with conditions such as autism or ADHD. But what does "relaxed" actually mean?

Following advice from Hayley and Jenni (and research by Julia, Celia and Martin who have been visiting several other relaxed performances around Oxfordshire - it's a hard life, but someone's got to do it!) we will be incorporating the following adaptations.

The auditorium lights will be kept on low during most of the show. There is one scene where they may be turned off (so as not to ruin some special effects), but the audience will be warned about where this will come. 

The auditorium doors will be left open and audience members will be encouraged to get up and leave their seats whenever they need to. Bicester Autism will provide a couple of blackout tents in the foyer, furnished with a supply of fidget toys. They will also be producing a "visual story" which they can show to the audience beforehand so they know what to expect.

The cast will be laid back and accepting when interacting with the audience who may not respond in the usual way when prompted or conversely may carry on shouting "it's behind you" long after the scene has finished.

Before the show starts the ten main characters will introduce themselves one by one using their normal voices. They will explain that the props in the show are not really dangerous weapons. (SPOILER ALERT: the frying pan (complete with fried egg) that Rapunzel uses to bash Bobby on the head with is not really cast iron but is actually made of soft squidgy grey foam!). They will also explain what comedy noises to expect when Go falls over or hits Wash with a hammer.

There are not many tickets left - although we are pleased to be able to release some extra tickets for our relaxed performance. Get your tickets at www.ticketsource.co.uk/lvp .