'Tis the Season for Pantos!

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.

Aladdin Pantomime showing at Theatre Royal Nottingham until 10th Jan 2016.

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! 


  1. Hi Morgan, what a brilliant idea! Once when we were in England for Christmas I took the children to see a pantomime and it was too much for Gregs, so I think the relaxed performance is a wonderful idea and something we would have opted for over a normal performance.

    The Visual story is also a great idea, as Gregs (and many other children with autism) copes so much better if they are aware of what's coming.


    1. Yes I thought the Visual Story was great, and actually helped me explain to LP what was going to happen. :)

  2. What a lovely idea, I want to take mine to a panto soon - my smallest is a bit too young - but maybe next year. A relaxed performance sounds perfect.

    1. It really is a great way to introduce the little ones to the theatre. :)

  3. What a brilliant idea. For small children, I think the usual style can be a bit full on. The few times we've been, there's always been a really small person completely bewildered by it all and wailing their head off. (A reasonable reaction in the circumstances!) Have a wonderful Christmas :)

    1. Thanks hun, yes the pantos usually are overwhelming for the little ones. I love the idea of a relaxed performance, a great way to introduce them to the theatre. :)


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