West End MATILDA stages

jacobsnchz14
Broadway Legend
joined:12/13/06
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-27856845

Taking children with learning disabilities on a theatre trip can be a challenge for families.

The restrictions of sitting quietly in a dark auditorium can be difficult and stressful for everyone involved.

The Royal Shakespeare Company presented their first "relaxed performance" of Matilda: The Musical at The Cambridge Theatre.

Noise levels were reduced and lighting adjusted to soften the impact on the audience.

Before coming to the show families were sent a visual story to help them get to know the plot, characters and setting.

BBC News went to see how the musical was staged - and how it went down with the audience.

--

One of the actresses mentions it'd be a good idea for other theatres and shows to take on this idea and have performances for these particular audiences. What do you think?
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 09:56am
This is a great idea. It makes me happy that they're doing something like this.
....but the world goes 'round
Princeton Returns
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/10
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 10:24am
Pantos in the UK have been doing it for a few years, I dont see how it can be anything but a great idea
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 10:38am
I've heard of it being done before. It's a great idea....but its tough to plan it far enough ahead so that no other ticket holders (without concerns) also have tickets and soon enough for a family/school/organization to go.

Good for them.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
KathyNYC2
Broadway Star
joined:12/2/10
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 10:38am
Fabulous idea. Broadway are you listening?
ShakinBaconGirl
Leading Actor
joined:3/25/14
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 10:44am
Didn't Broadway's THE LION KING do something similar?
BroadwayNYC2
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/13
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 10:47am
The Disney shows, Spiderman, and Wicked have done this. Nothing new here Kathy.
Billy Bigelow
Chorus Member
joined:8/28/13
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 10:50am
I love this. TDF is leading an initiative to bring "Autism Friendly" performance to Broadway. You can learn more about this fabulous program here: http://www.tdf.org/TDF_ServicePage.aspx?id=128
BroadwayNYC2
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/13
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 10:52am
I went to an Autism-friendly performance last year and it went over pretty well too. Glad the families get to enjoy these shows with their children.
Princeton Returns
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/10
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 10:59am
Normally they are extra performances that are held off sale, maybe earlier in the day too.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 11:19am
This is a beautiful idea.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Brian07663NJ
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 11:55am
Yes, this is really great. Thanks for sharing.
Up next: Apr 01 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Apr 05 Charo at RamsHead OnStage; Apr 07 Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom; Apr 13 Amaluna next to Citi Field; Apr 18 Disney Junior at MSG Theatre; May 06 Aladdin; May 13 Artpop Ball Lady Gaga at MSG; Jun 07 Varekai in Bridgeport, CT Jul 12 1:30pm Side Show; Jul 12 8:30pm Fantasia w/National Symphony Orchestra; Aug 16 The Visit: Williamstown Festival
rjm516
Broadway Star
joined:6/24/09
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 02:08pm
Yeah several Broadway shows have had 'autism-friendly' shows for years, I think often associated (or at least plugged) by Autism Speaks? It's great that the West End is finally doing it too.
Blethering Scot
Understudy
joined:5/29/13
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 02:40pm
The West End has had these before too. Like Broadway not that many but they have happened.

The new thing is the RSC doing it and the approach they took.
wonderfulwizard11
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/05
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 03:07pm
I'm currently performing in an original children's musical and we're doing the same thing next weekend! I'm glad to see more shows doing this- anything that exposes more people to the theatre is a good thing in my book.
I am a firm believer in serendipity- all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.
disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/10/13
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 04:47pm
Now you brought Matilda up, I just read on Tumblr that in the UK, there was a contest to write a scene for Matilda and have it be in the show for a night. This is the winner.

Congrats to Isabella! :) So great that a little girl has accomplished a huge thing like this.
Isabella Thomas, eight, with her extra scene for Matilda the Musical
Broadway Shows: Phantom of the Opera (January 2011), Mary Poppins (January 2011), Anything Goes (August 2011, W/ Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes), The Lion King (August 2011), Godspell (June 2012, W/ Corbin Bleu), Matilda the Musical (Original Broadway Cast, May 2013), Newsies (May 2013), Cinderella (W/ Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher, May 2014), and Aladdin (OBC, May 2014). Pre-Broadway: If/Then (November 2013/World Premiere, W/ Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp). National Tours: Wicked (October 2012), Beauty & the Beast (January 2013), & Jersey Boys (November 2013)

Met Idina Menzel & Sierra Boggess (November 2013)
Updated On: 6/20/14 at 04:47 PM
KathyNYC2
Broadway Star
joined:12/2/10
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 04:51pm
^^^ I know they have done it before at other shows. I was just saying I hoped Broadway Matilda did it here as well. Sorry I was not clear.
NeverSoShy
Chorus Member
joined:10/8/11
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/20/14 at 07:00pm
The West End's Mamma Mia also did this in November last year
MAMMA MIA! London hosts its first Relaxed Performance - 26 November 2013 [video]
JBroadway
Leading Actor
joined:4/6/12
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/21/14 at 01:02am
I have actually had the privilege of performing in multiple shows that included "relaxed" performances, as they put it. It's a really interesting and very rewarding experience. It can be slightly distracting at times, but you really feel the love from the audience, including the caretakers of disabled individuals. It can be really difficult for individuals with mental disabilities to go to the theatre, and it seemed like they really appreciated the opportunity. I'm glad that there are a good number of shows that do this.

Updated On: 6/21/14 at 01:02 AM
StephieElise
Swing
joined:11/12/12
West End MATILDA stages
Posted: 6/21/14 at 08:02am
They did an autism friendly performance of The Lion King in Sydney last week. Fantastic idea.