Glasgow panto to stage autistic friendly showing

Glasgow’s King’s Theatre is to host a relaxed performance of its pantomime with the support of the National Autistic Society Scotland.

The relaxed performance of Aladdin will be held on Wednesday 19 December at 1pm for the fifth year running.

The relaxed performance creates a theatre experience which is specifically designed to welcome people with autism, learning difficulties or other sensory and communication needs.

There will be a less formal atmosphere in the auditorium with a relaxed attitude to noise, and house lights will be kept on low.

Lighting, sound and special effects featured in Aladdin will be softened to reduce anxiety. Audience members are free to move around and can use the designated ‘chill out’ areas to relax.

Alison Cowan, creative learning manager at the King’s Theatre, is thrilled that the relaxed performance is continuing in at King’s.

She said: ‘I am delighted that once again the King’s is offering this inclusive theatre experience with the support and expertise of the National Autistic Society Scotland.

‘It is great to see that just by making a number of small but important adjustments, we can welcome people who might not otherwise experience the magic of live theatre.’

Nick Ward, national director at the National Autistic Society Scotland, said: ‘Autism-friendly performances are a fantastic way for autistic people to enjoy a pantomime. Simple adjustments can make a huge difference – meaning autistic people and their families can access and enjoy an experience, which is, for many families, an important Christmas tradition.

‘I’m so pleased that our charity is working with the King’s Theatre for the fifth year running to make its pantomime autism-friendly.’

The National Autistic Society Scotland provided dedicated training for cast, crew and front of house staff to help tailor the customer experience and ensure families and school groups feel at ease.

Staff members and charity volunteers will be on hand at all times during the performance should anyone require assistance.

There are a number of online resources available to help relaxed performance bookers prepare for their visit. A Visual Story explains each step of the theatre experience from arriving at a busy box office, taking your seat in a noisy auditorium and audience participation.

The Ambassador Theatre Group has also collaborated with Widgit Software to create a selection of symbol resources, including flash cards, to outline the trip and help describe the plot and characters of Aladdin.

Aladdin runs until Sunday 6 January 2019 with Elaine C Smith as Widow Twankey, Johnny Mac as Wishee Washee and Paul James Corrigan as The Imperial Palace Guard.

Packed with all of the traditional ingredients King’s Theatre audiences have come to expect, Aladdin is a sparkling with laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.

Read Scottish Field’s review HERE.

Click HERE for ticket details.

Relaxed performance online resources can be found here:

Visual Stories –

Symbol Resources –