Relaxed and captioned performances enable more people to enjoy seasonal panto

News 2 November 2023

News Story

A trip to the panto can be a magical experience and a highlight of the festive holidays. But for some people, including those venturing to the theatre for the first time, the thought can be as equally overwhelming and stressful as it is exciting.

If you’re considering a trip to the panto but are worried about the experience being overwhelming, then try a relaxed panto performance packed with just as much panto pazazz and stress-free sparkle, but in a more relaxed environment. This year the relaxed performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at the Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth takes place on Tuesday 12 December at 10.30am.

The performance has been adapted to welcome people of all ages. This includes people who may have sensitivities to loud noise, sudden movement, and bright lights. It may also suit people with learning difficulties, sensory communication disorders or are neurodivergent.

Steve Turner, Associate Director, BH Live said; “We know that many aspects of coming to a theatre can be very challenging for some people. Crowded places, unexpected music, loud noises, special effects, changes to lighting, and applause can all be unsettling. Even the interval can cause confusion because it disrupts the flow of the show.

“We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the magic of pantomime and we have been working closely with our pantomime producer, UK Productions, to include some subtle show changes that will make a big difference without impacting all the fun and thrills panto is well-known for.

“The sound levels will be lowered, the house lights will be on but dimmed, stage smoke will be reduced, and audience members will be free to come and go as they please throughout the show. There will also be a dedicated quiet area.”

“A relaxed performance may also benefit younger preschool-aged children who want to get up and move about freely during the show.”

Martin Dodd Managing Director, UKP added; “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the excitement of live performance and the magic of festive panto.

“With a few minor adjustments, our relaxed performance is far more accessible to an audience that may have otherwise overlooked a chance to go to the theatre.”

In addition to the relaxed performance, there is also a captioned performance on Saturday 9 December at 2.30pm. Dialogue is displayed on a screen throughout. This performance may benefit those who are deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing. A captioned performance may also be of benefit to those who are neurodivergent, have auditory processing conditions, or if their first language is not English.

Councillor Andy Martin, Portfolio Holder for Customer, Communications and Culture from BCP Council said; “Making the world of theatre accessible, comfortable, and welcoming to everyone with relaxed and captioned performances, particularly this time of year when panto is a family favourite, is fantastic. We’re delighted families and communities in the BCP area have the opportunity to enjoy this great festive tradition.”

Playing Wicked Queen, Su Pollard leads a fantastic cast with Noel Brodie, as ‘Muddles’, with Jamie Steen as ‘Dame Dilly Donut’, ‘Snow White’ played by Jenny Huxley-Golden and Jake Hankey as ‘The Prince.’

With a beautiful princess, a jealous Wicked Queen, seven fabulous dwarfs, a panto dame and a hilarious jester - not forgetting a poisoned apple and a magic mirror, it’s absolutely not to be missed!

Join Snow White for an adventure full of laughter, song and seven dwarfs, in this traditional fairy tale with a magical twist.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bournemouth Pavilion 2 – 31 December 2023