Durham’s Gala Theatre is to put on a pantomime adapted to people who might normally feel excluded from live performances.

Such people could include those with learning difficulties, autistic spectrum conditions, and sensory and communication disorders.

The ‘relaxed’ performance of Robinson Crusoe will take place on Thursday 14th December. The audience will be free to move around and talk and there will be a chill-out space.

Although the show will be in many ways similar to a normal pantomime, lighting, sound and special effects will be slightly altered in order to reduce anxiety.

The Gala’s staff have been specially trained to create a friendly environment and to assist with any additional needs any audience members might have.

The Gala Theatre’s arts programme manager, Jo Cundall, said, “Everyone should be able to enjoy a visit to the theatre, but we know that for some people worries about sound or lighting may prevent them from attending.”

“This relaxed performance of the pantomime means those who might otherwise miss out can enjoy our swashbuckling show and really get into the Christmas spirit.”

The pantomime follows Robinson Crusoe (Jamie Brown) as he sets sail on a quest to find adventure, romance and the legendary pearl of wisdom.

Helped by his brother Billy Bob (Paul Hartley), his mother Dame Connie Crusoe (Paul Dunn) and the feisty Polly Perkins (Lauren Waine), Robinson has to face the mad and bad pirate Captain Blackheart as well as whatever dangers await him on the Island of Flames.

Robinson Crusoe is written and directed by Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley.

The show will begin at 6.00 pm on Thursday 14th December. Tickets cost between £15 and £17 and family tickets can be purchased for £58.

For more information and to book tickets, please go to www.galadurham.co.uk.

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