In June 2015, to accompany the Royal Exchange Theatre and Told by an Idiot co-production THE GHOST TRAIN, we held our first Relaxed Performance. This is what you thought...

GhostTrainRelaxedPerformance“I just want to say I was really impressed with the work you had gone to to support students with autism during THE GHOST TRAIN. The staff were fantastic and I could tell they all had a clear understanding of the students visiting the theatre. We all felt very relaxed and catered for.” 

“I would feel uncomfortable in the theatre environment under normal conditions and I really feel unwell with loud sudden noises and strobe lights and big crowds so I have steered away from a lot of cultural and sporting events and generally busy places for most of my life because of this. So thank you for the opportunity to visit the theatre for the relaxed performance of THE GHOST TRAIN - it was a pleasurable experience.”

Relaxed performances are designed to welcome anyone who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, and are for anybody who may be anxious about attending the Theatre for a range of reasons. This could be a fear of the dark, claustrophobia, a condition which makes it difficult to be silent, a fear of loud noise, or maybe because you find it hard to sit still for a long period of time.


For this Relaxed Performance, Director Paul Hunter made small changes to the staging, and there was a relaxed attitude to noise and movement. The doors to the Theatre were left open, allowing people to come and go from the auditorium at any time and there were breakout areas in the Great Hall. A cross-organisation team of staff and volunteers received bespoke training in preparation for the performance and there were special resources available in advance for all audience members including a Visual Guide To The Theatre.

“Thank you again for the superb performance and for opening it to people who would not otherwise get to see theatre.”

“I thought the performance was excellent and the slight alterations were beautifully done. People living with disabilities felt comfortable.”

“I just wanted to thank you for providing us with the free tickets for the performance on Tuesday. Our service users thoroughly enjoyed it and have not stopped talking about it! A few of them had never been to the theatre before either so it was such an amazing opportunity for them. Personally I felt that the performance was done superbly to meet a variety of different support needs. We would love to be involved with future relaxed performances as overall we thought it was excellent.”

This Relaxed Performance of THE GHOST TRAIN was generously supported by The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, Manchester Guardian Society Charitable Trust, The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and Ordinary People, Interesting Lives.

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