West End's MAMMA MIA! to Play 'Relaxed Performance' for Families, 26 Nov.
On Tuesday 26 November, there will be a 'relaxed performance' of the smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! at London's Novello Theatre, for families with one or more children with special needs. Relaxed performances are designed to provide an opportunity for people with autism, learning difficulties or other sensory and communication needs who require a more relaxed environment. This follows Mousetrap Theatre Projects' (MTP) hugely successful relaxed performance of Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane Theatre in May 2012. MTP's long-term goal is to see regular relaxed performances in the West End. The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) is a great supporter of this project and both MTP and SOLT are working hard to try to ensure that relaxed performances become a familiar fixture in the theatre diary.
Judy Craymer, the producer of MAMMA MIA!, said, "We are absolutely delighted to support this truly wonderful charity and have a special relaxed performance of MAMMA MIA! where everyone can do just that and be transported to a sunny Greek Island. We are thrilled to be able to open our doors to these families who would otherwise not consider taking their children to a West End show. I hope it is popular and we can then make it a regular date in the show's calendar.
Over 504 families attended the relaxed performance of Shrek The Musical and the whole experience of the evening was received with huge delight, gratitude and enthusiasm by the audience:
"I so rarely feel brave enough to attempt family trips, especially to proper West End shows, and last night was a complete success for us. My daughter was transfixed with the show, and all the special arrangements that were put in place for families like myself [sic] made all the difference to our enjoyment. Please pass on my sincerest thanks to all for an evening to remember that enabled us to feel normal as a family. Thank you!" (Mother of 3 children, all with special needs, aged 7, 12 and 16)
"I cannot tell you what a joy it was to see my son sitting in a West End Theatre enjoying himself and to also feel relaxed as a parent that, if anything went wrong, we wouldn't be judged by those around us." (Father of child aged 7 with special needs)
Thanks to generous support from Littlestar, the producers of MAMMA MIA!, and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, the owners of the Novello Theatre, Mousetrap Theatre Projects is able to offer tickets which are reduced especially for this performance, with children's tickets starting from as little as £2.50 and adults' from £5.00.
Prior to attending the performance, all families will be sent support materials including an education pack that explores themes and characters in the musical, a 'Visual Story' and a 'Sensory Synopsis'. These resources help families prepare for their trip to MAMMA MIA!, and guarantee that the full theatre experience is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for the whole family. The pack also recommends convenient travel routes and restaurants.
Mousetrap Theatre Projects has a dedicated Relaxed Performance Project Manager who will offer maximum support for families prior to attending MAMMA MIA!. There will also be fully trained staff and volunteers on site to assist families at the theatre, as well as volunteer guides at the three local tube stations.
Mousetrap Theatre Projects is a theatre education charity founded in 1997 to enable young people with limited resources, access or support to engage with the best of London's Theatre. So far, it has provided opportunities for over 100,000 young people to attend theatre, and currently offers 18 innovative theatre access, educational and audience development projects.
MAMMA MIA! has been entertaining audiences in the West End since 1999 and is delighted to have this opportunity to work with Mousetrap Theatre Projects for this very special performance.