NEW RELAXED PERFORMANCE AT THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are staging their second Relaxed performance of a full-length Shakespeare play.
The Relaxed version of As You Like It will be performed on Thursday 16 May as a matinee. It is the second full-length Shakespeare play in the RST auditorium to be performed as a Relaxed version, after A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2016.
Relaxed performances offer a more casual environment than the usual strict rules of the theatre and have special considerations taken into account about the staging of the production, making them ideal for people living with autism, special needs, or for other neurodivergent visitors. The lighting is raised in the auditorium, making seating feel more friendly and welcoming, and special consideration is paid to make sure that peoples’ needs have been considered, for instance very loud noises or music may be turned down. They also feature more relaxed rules on when visitors can enter and exit the theatre, and have ‘chill-out’ areas where people can go if they need quiet time during the show.
Visitors to the theatre will also be provided with a detailed visual story ahead of time, providing guides to the theatre, production, and who they might see or interact with during their time there.
Erica Whyman, Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said: “Relaxed performances are a vital part of our access work. As they ‘relax’ theatre’s usual rules, they are a perfect way of bringing in people who may find the usual theatre experience too stressful – whether in terms of lighting, noise, or not having the ability to move around. Theatre is for everyone, and we are proud of our commitment to make our productions accessible to people from all walks of life. We were among the first to pioneer relaxed performances, with our Christmas production The Mouse and his Child in 2013 being our first, and have held many more since, including one with the touring Matilda The Musical. They are a cornerstone of our growing body of access work, which also includes audio described, integrated BSL interpreted, captioned and chilled performances.”
Royal Shakespeare Theatre productions sponsored by Darwin Escapes
The work of the RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE AND H.J. HEINZ II CHARITABLE TRUST
Notes to Editors
For RSC media enquiries please contact RSC Press and Communications Officer Emily Magdij, firstname.lastname@example.org 01789 412657 /07920 541729.
About the Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world. We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.
Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town.
We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre. We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online. Registered charity no. 212481 www.rsc.org.uk
Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
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