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What Is a Relaxed Performance?

Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon the term “relaxed performance” and wondered, “What is a relaxed performance?” Or maybe you’re already familiar with the concept and are looking to learn more.

In essence, a relaxed performance is a unique approach to staging shows that creates an inclusive environment for people with various disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory, learning, and communication disorders.

The goal of a relaxed performance is to make theatre accessible and enjoyable for everyone, hence the adjustments in production elements and venue settings. The changes range from reducing loud noises and bright lights to allowing movement and noise within the auditorium and enabling re-entry when needed.

Such alterations aim to ensure that people with disorders or disabilities experience the magic of theatre just like other patrons.

Notably, a relaxed performance meaning extends beyond disability inclusivity. This format is also a welcome change for patrons with anxiety, Tourette’s, dementia, or bladder and bowel conditions. The relaxed attitude caters to everyone’s comfort, and even babies are welcome in arms.

How Relaxed Performances Differ From Regular Theatre Performances

Relaxed performances offer a stark contrast to the traditional theatre set-up, where silence and stillness are mandatory during the show. Patrons at regular performances are often required to wait for breaks or intermissions to move around or make any noise.

Conversely, a relaxed performance offers patrons the freedom to move and make noise as needed. Parents with young children can feel more at ease knowing they won’t be asked to maintain complete silence or stillness.

Furthermore, the production team may adjust specific elements, such as reducing louder sound effects and altering scene transitions, to foster a more comfortable environment.

These alterations help people with learning disabilities process information more effectively.

Enhancing the Theatre Experience: What Changes Are Made for a Relaxed Performance?

A relaxed performance considers several adjustments to ensure an inclusive and comfortable environment for all patrons. The changes venues might implement include:

  • Movement Flexibility: The audience is free to move around during the performance.
  • Altered Lighting: Flashing and bright lights are avoided to prevent sensory overload.
  • Sensory Kits: These are provided to aid those with sensory sensitivities.
  • Modified Sound: Loud noises are minimized, and the overall volume level is turned down.
  • Audience Focus: Spotlights on patrons are avoided, and theatre lights may remain on or turned up to decrease the intensity of the experience.
  • Seating: Patrons and their families can reserve seats, with spots guaranteed for wheelchair users.
  • Noise Acceptance: An understanding that patrons may make more noise than usual during performances.
  • Additional Services: Offering audio description services with headsets, allowing patrons to bring their food and drinks, or permitting movement in and out of the room.
  • Accessible Pricing: Low-cost tickets are offered for caregivers and companions to a person with a disability.

These adjustments are typically made in consultation with the production team and performers to maintain the integrity of the show while ensuring a relaxed environment.

Where to Find Relaxed Performances?

Relaxed performances are becoming increasingly popular, with a growing number of venues offering this inclusive experience. These venues span a range of settings, from concert halls, arenas, auditoriums, churches, indoor and outdoor stages, to cruise ships and private shows.

For example, in the UK, the National Theatre provides a mix of relaxed environment performances and sensory-adapted performances. Their website allows you to search by dates or filter by sensor-adapted performance, relaxed environment performance, or both.

Conclusion: The Impact of Relaxed Performances

To sum up, a relaxed performance fosters inclusivity in the realm of theatre and live performances, enabling everyone to partake in the magic of the arts.

By making simple modifications, these performances are designed to be more accommodating and comfortable, particularly for individuals with various disabilities.

The rise of relaxed performances is an exciting development in theatre, and we hope this guide has helped clarify what a relaxed performance is and what it entails.

Frequently Asked Questions About Relaxed Performances

What is a relaxed performance?

A relaxed performance is a specially adapted theatre or live show designed to create an inclusive and comfortable environment for people with various disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory, learning, and communication disorders.

How does a relaxed performance differ from a regular theatre performance?

In a regular theatre performance, patrons are expected to maintain silence and stillness throughout the show. In contrast, a relaxed performance allows patrons the freedom to move and make noise as necessary, and the production team adjusts certain elements such as lighting and sound effects to ensure a more comfortable experience.

What changes are made for a relaxed performance?

Changes made for a relaxed performance may include minimizing loud noises, avoiding bright or flashing lights, allowing movement and noise in the auditorium, enabling re-entry when needed, and adjusting certain scenes or movements.

Where can I find venues that offer relaxed performances?

Relaxed performances are becoming increasingly common at various venues, from concert halls and arenas to theatres and private shows. The National Theatre in the UK, for instance, offers a mix of relaxed environment performances and sensory-adapted performances.

How can I reserve a wheelchair seat for a relaxed performance?

As most venues have limited wheelchair spaces, it’s recommended to call the box office before purchasing a ticket if you require a wheelchair seat. The staff can provide information about availability and assist with the booking process.

Holly Smith

I Love Musical Theatre and made the West End World Website To Share My Experiences, Reviews & Theatre News.