Wicked plans autism-friendly performance

Reporter: Charlotte Marshall, first published Tue 26 Jan 2016 17:00
Wicked Production Shot/servlet/file/store5/item339229/version1/fileservice770/339229_770_preview.jpg

Hit family musical Wicked will host its first ever dedicated autism-friendly performance at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on 14 May.

The Olivier Award-winning show will work with the National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity supporting people on the autism spectrum and their families, to both create a welcoming and supportive environment, and adapt the show to ensure it’s suitable for the audience.

Speaking about the upcoming performance, Wicked’s UK Executive Producer Michael McCabe said: “We are greatly indebted to the National Autistic Society and to the Ambassador Theatre Group for their support in arranging this dedicated Autism-Friendly performance. We’re delighted to be able to welcome fans of Wicked who wouldn’t normally be able to attend a standard performance and look forward to what promises to be an inspiring experience for us all.”

In order to make the experience as positive as possible for audience members, the dazzling show about the two young sorcerers and their untold journey leading to their famous titles as the Witches of Oz will undergo adjustments to both its sound and lighting. There will also be trained staff on hand in chill out spaces around the theatre to enable people to leave their seats if required.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, commented: “We were delighted to be offered the opportunity to work with the Apollo Victoria Theatre, the Ambassador Theatre Group and the producers of this hugely successful show. More than one in one hundred people have autism in the UK, and many of those affected by this lifelong condition are acutely sensitive to everyday sights and sounds, which other people are able to filter out, such as fluorescent lighting, background music or traffic noise.

“Autistic people and their families tell us that they would love to go to the theatre but because of sensory issues are prevented from doing so. Wicked’s production team have taken great care in adapting the show which means that for some of the audience on 14 May, this will be the very first time that they are able to experience the thrill of a live performance.” 

Wicked is recommended for ages seven and older. Anyone interested in attending the performance can book online at www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/autismfriendly

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