Durham’s Gala Theatre is to host a series of accessible shows to make sure that all theatregoers can enjoy its events in the run up to Christmas.
The programme of inclusive events will include captioned shows, performances featuring sign language, and relaxed shows for people with autism or sensory issues.
This year’s inclusive shows will build on the success of similar performances in recent years.
On Thursday 2nd January at 1.00 pm, subtitles will accompany a performance of the Gala’s pantomime Aladdin.
Two performances of Aladdin will feature British Sign Language interpretation for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. These shows will take place on Sunday 8th December at 1.00 pm and on Thursday 2nd January, also at 1.00 pm.
A performance of the Gala’s under-fives’ Christmas show One More Sleep will also be augmented with sign language interpretation. The show will take place on Sunday 15th December at 3.30 pm.
On Wednesday 27th December at 1.30 pm, there will be a relaxed performance of Aladdin. In this show, the lighting, sound and special effects will be adapted to reduce anxiety. People will be free to talk and move around and will be able to have a break from the show if they need one.
Audiences can also download a guide to the Gala Theatre from the venue’s website. This is so they can become familiar with the theatre before they visit and thereby lessen anxiety.
The manager of Durham’s Gala Theatre, Robin Byers, said, “We want as many people as possible to fully enjoy our Christmas shows so we hope our relaxed, signed and captioned performances make people feel welcome in our theatre.”
“Our relaxed production has been specially designed to welcome audiences who might otherwise feel excluded from experiencing live theatre, including those with autistic spectrum conditions, learning disabilities, or sensory and communication disorders.”
“All our staff have also been trained to create a friendly family setting and assist with any additional needs that people may have and we’re really looking forward to sharing our shows.”
To book tickets, or learn more about the Gala Theatre’s accessible shows, please go to https://www.galadurham.co.uk/ or telephone 03000 266 600.
(This article’s featured image shows a scene from the Gala Theatre’s Aladdin pantomime.)