Autism (Relaxed) Panto Performances….. what do you think?

So today we went to see a relaxed performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at Southampton’s the Mayflower theatre.  It was our second panto of the season but our first officially aimed at those with autism and sesory or learning difficulties.

It was a bit of an odd experience, at first I could not hear a single word said on stage as we were at the very back and what with Moo, plus a lot of other children shouting around us it was awkward, think it must have been a bit hard for the actors so I take my hat off to them for being able to concentrate amid the noise.  However as we settled into it it became a very enjoyable experience.

These type of autism/disability friendly events seem to be getting more and more popular, as people who follow me on pinterest, twitter, or who have read my first post on here will know, we went to see an autism friendly screening on Sunday.  This can only be a good thing.  It was so lovely to see so  many children who would otherwise not be able to attend these kind of events, enjoying themselves.  Autistic children seem able to laugh like noone else and quite often I find it is not even at the same stuff that we find funny as they live in a different world which just so happens to look a lot like ours.

Jack and the Beanstalk poster

I suppose some people may argue that this sort of performance is a form of segregation and demand to know why autistic and those with learning difficulties be made to watch a show separately.  Well of course they are not made to, and as a parent of an autistic child I cannot tell you how wonderful it is that these type of things are becoming more popular.  You see with Moo we find it so difficult to do anything, we do of course, but it is hard, with the constant looks from other people, the screaming by Moo, the twirling, the histrionics, etc it becomes one long headache and by the end of our outings we are both emotionally drained and our voices hoarse from shouting after Moo and explaining to others that he has autism.

With a performance such as this we get the best of both worlds, we get to go to the theatre like other families and we don’t have to worry about what people think when Moo innevitably acts up.

What do you think?  Have you been to a relaxed performace?  Would you go to one? Did you have a good time?

You can find out more about relaxed performances here




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