News: Autism friendly performance for Madagascar The Musical at Wales Millennium Centre

MAD_Cardiff_960x1280MUSICALS FOR ALL – WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE HOSTS ITS FIRST MAJOR ‘RELAXED PERFORMANCE’ WITH MADAGASCAR THE MUSICAL

Wales Millennium Centre will present its first relaxed performance of a large-scale musical in the main 1,800 seat Donald Gordon Theatre this summer. The matinee performance of Madagascar The Musical on Thursday 8th August 2019 is specially designed for people who may find going to the theatre challenging, including those with an autistic spectrum condition, learning disability or sensory and communication disorder.

The performance is open to all and will include a number of sensory adjustments such as lower sound levels, brighter lighting and a less formal setting. Encouraging an atmosphere where everyone feels safe and able to react to the show as they wish, Madagascar The Musical will be an adventure of a lifetime for everyone who sees it.

Relaxed performances were first introduced to Wales Millennium Centre’s programme in December 2017 with The Bear, followed by Almost Always MuddyThe Girl with Incredibly Long Hair and Duckie in 2018, which took place in the Centre’s smaller studio theatre, the Weston Studio, and its public spaces.

BSL-interpreted and captioned performances are already available for most of the major touring musical and theatre productions that come to the Centre. This new addition of a relaxed performance of Madagascar The Musical on the main stage demonstrates the Centre’s vision for as many people as possible to enjoy live theatre and entertainment and fire their imaginations.

Sarah Leigh, General Manager Arts & Creative at Wales Millennium Centre said: “As the national arts centre for Wales, we want to ensure our programme is accessible to all, which is why I am thrilled that we are able to extend relaxed performances to our main stage. We hope to welcome audiences both new and old to the Centre for this magical sho,w and I hope it will be the first of many relaxed performances of major touring productions that we present here.”

Meleri Thomas, External Affairs Manager at the National Autistic Society Cymru said: “Autistic people and their families tell us that they would love to visit the theatre, but because of sensory issues and anxiety in unfamiliar surroundings, they are often prevented from doing so.

“We are thrilled to be working alongside the Wales Millennium Centre to help develop autism-friendly performances that take into account some of the challenges that autistic people and their families can face and enable them to enjoy live theatre in an environment that works for them.”

As part of the relaxed performance, those attending will be able to come and go from the auditorium as needed. The Centre will also offer quiet spaces for anyone who may feel overwhelmed, provide a visual story that explains everything from arriving at the building to leaving the show, and host a pre-show familiarisation tour of the auditorium. Audiences can be reassured that, although adaptations to the show and the theatre space will be made, the story itself is not affected.

Based on the smash-hit DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar The Musical follows Alex the lion (played by 2016 X Factor winner Matt Terry), Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

David Hutchinson, CEO from Selladoor said: “Relaxed performances allow access to these wonderful shows for those of us who may avoid theatre due to the potential for the situation to cause more stress or discomfort for ourselves and our loved ones. They are quickly becoming a vital part of an inclusive theatrical society.”

The relaxed performance of Madagascar The Musical is at Wales Millennium Centre on Thursday 8th August 2019, at 2pm.

Age guidance: 3+ (no under 2s)

Tickets: £16 – £31

Price reductions are available on the top two price tickets: Under 16s – £7.50 off; Disabled, Senior, Students and Unwaged – £5 off.

On sale now via wmc.org.uk or 029 2063 6464To book a wheelchair space or to ask any questions about your visit to Wales Millennium Centre, please call 029 2063 6464

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