The countdown is on to the Bristol Hippodrome’s first ever Relaxed Performance on Tuesday 30 December at 2.00 pm of Dick Whittington - this year’s award winning spectacular family pantomime at Bristol Hippodrome.
A Relaxed Performance is aimed at anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment including people who are on the autistic spectrum or who have sensory and communication disorders or a learning disability. There will be some small changes to the show, in terms of lighting and sound cues, but the overall content of the show will not change. There’s also a more relaxed attitude to noise in the auditorium in order to reduce anxiety and ensure a safe enjoyable theatre visit.
Patrons attending the Relaxed Performance will be sent a visual story which contains detailed information and photos of the theatre and a Dick Whittington sensory synopsis (a scene by scene breakdown detailing everything from sound to lighting that they will experience throughout the show). On Saturday 20 December between 10.30 am and Midday the theatre will be open to our Relaxed Performance bookers who can familiarise themselves with the venue in advance of their visit.
'We are all very much looking forward to our first ever Relaxed Performance and preparations are well under way. The Stalls Bar has been designated as the ‘chill-out’ area and our patrons are welcome to visit it at any point during the performance. In there they will find comfortable places to sit and activities for children and young people such as colouring in and some sensory toys. There will be a screen showing the performance on stage so no one will miss out on anything whilst they are in the ‘chill-out’ area' – Trish Hodson, Group Sales & Access Manager, the Bristol Hippodrome
We are also going to try something new here. It’s been noted that some patrons on the autistic spectrum have found it useful to listen to audio description commentary (where available), as it can sometimes aid concentration. Our regular Describer, Irene Richards has kindly agreed to provide a live commentary of the action during the Relaxed Performance through our infra red headsets and our patrons will be welcome to listen in.
Starring as Alice Fitzwarren and her dog will be Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey – who won rave reviews for their panto appearance in Manchester last year. Appearing alongside them will be Ben Faulks (aka Mr Bloom from CBeebies) as Dick Whittington, Bristol’s favourite Andy Ford as Idle Jack, panto dame extraordinaire Eric Potts as Sarah the Cook and X Factor’s Brenda Edwards as Fairy Bowbells.