Jersey pantomime introduces 'relaxed performance' for neurodivergent people

  • We take a look behind the scenes of 'Rapunzel' at the cast's dress rehearsal

A new pantomime running at Jersey Arts Centre aims to be more accessible to people who may find surprises and certain sounds or lights unsettling.

All shows will not include pyrotechnics this year and a specific 'relaxed performance' will see the number of loud noises and lighting effects limited.

Audience participation is still encouraged at this event but they will be asked to do it more quietly than usual.

It is hoped this will make the show more inclusive for people who are neurodivergent, which means their brain works differently.

There are still the same elements that make pantomimes a popular attraction for many, such as a leading Dame, colourful costumes and comedy.

A relaxed version of the performance will take place at 11am on Sunday 7 January. Credit: ITV Channel

Esther Schulz plays the villain 'Waylon' and says these changes will make a real difference.

Her son is autistic and had to leave last year's production a few minutes into the performance after he found the pyrotechnics too overwhelming.

She explained: "Hopefully he and his friends will come and sit through the performance and enjoy it without any crazy bangs or loud noises."

There will also be a British Sign Language interpreter who specialises in drama performances flying in from the UK to make this show more inclusive, with the cast adapting their storytelling too.

Amy Flack who plays 'Cinderella' said: "We don't have any clapping, instead we do the sign language.

"A lot of us have been encouraged to do the sign language for some of the words, like I do, 'prince'."

Lucia Flack who plays 'Shark' added: "We're going to make sure that the doors are open so people are free to leave whenever they want, just in case everything gets a bit too much."

The 'relaxed performance' by Jersey Amateur Dramatics Club starts at 11am on Sunday 7 January in Jersey Arts Centre, with other shows running until Sunday 14 January.

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