This is the time of year you'll see advertisements all over the place for Pantomimes. I love Pantos, they're a great way to introduce children to the Theatre.
In Nottingham at Theatre Royal the Panto is Aladdin starring Christopher Biggins, Simon Webbe, and Ben Nickless.
The last time I went to see a Panto BP was five and it was a trip with his school. Every year I mean to take the boys to see the Panto and never quite get around to doing it.
This year is different though because we've been invited to Theatre Royal to see a Relaxed Performance of Aladdin in January.
What is a Relaxed Performance?
A Relaxed Performance is primarily tailored towards those with Autism or various special needs. A pantomime can be quite a daunting and frightening experience with all its loud bangs and lights so there are small changes made to sound levels and lighting, and no pyrotechnics or strobe lights are used. The performance provides a less formal introduction to the Theatre to try to reduce anxiety levels.
The Relaxed Performance could also be a way to introduce young children to the Theatre. I remember taking BP to his first Panto and he was afraid of the loud bangs and the shouting from the audience. I think it put him off for a while! Had there been Relaxed Performances back then I may have chosen to take him to one of those.
If you're thinking of taking your younger children to their first Panto a Relaxed Performance might be the way to go.
As part of the Relaxed Performance booking I was sent a Visual Story and parent/carer notes to read through.
The Visual Story will help explain to your children what is going to happen when they visit the Theatre. On each page they tell you the kinds of things to expect, and what to do to ease any anxiety.
The parent/carer notes are just that, notes that tell you what to expect. It includes sections about lighting, sound, and timings.
We will attend the Theatre on 6th January and I'll be writing about our experience so be sure to check back in January to find out how our trip went.
I'm very excited to be taking the boys to see Aladdin!