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The Prince Edward is first theatre in the West End to receive a National Autistic Society Award

Theatre news

DISNEY’S hit musical Aladdin has announced that the Prince Edward Theatre, which is owned by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, is the first theatre in the West End to receive an award from The National Autistic Society celebrating its achievements in welcoming autistic guests and their families through training, staff awareness and initiatives such as the hit show’s Autism-Friendly Performances.

Disney works with The National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for autistic people and their families, to deliver the specially staged performances every year which are designed to make the show more accessible for those affected by autism.

The next dedicated Autism-Friendly Performance of Aladdin will take place at 1.30pm on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. Audience members can find out more information and purchase tickets at aladdinthemusical.co.uk/autismfriendly/. Tickets are sold at a specially reduced rate and can be selected on a virtual map of the auditorium.

Nancy Shakerley, Education and Outreach Manager for Disney Theatrical Group, said: “We are extremely proud to have worked closely with our colleagues at the Prince Edward Theatre to achieve the Autism Friendly Award. We are excited to be holding another Autism-Friendly performance again this summer – Autistic guests and their families are, of course, welcome at any performance but we understand that this more relaxed environment is preferable for some guests.”

Chris Pike, Autism Access Specialist at the National Autistic Society, said: “We are delighted that the Prince Edward Theatre is the first theatre in the West End to receive our prestigious Autism Friendly Award. It’s very well deserved.

“There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, and many struggle to cope with unfamiliar places and everyday sights and sounds which others are able to filter out, such as artificial lighting, background music or traffic noise.

“Autistic people and their families tell us that they would love to visit the theatre, but because of sensory issues and anxiety in unfamiliar surroundings, they are prevented from doing so. Aladdin’s production team have taken great care in adapting the show, including having a ‘visual story’ online which can help autistic people prepare for their visit in advance. This means that for some of the audience on August 28, this will be the very first time that they are able to experience the thrill of a live performance.”

Graham Bradbury, General Manager of the Prince Edward Theatre, said: “I am delighted on behalf of the team here at the Prince Edward Theatre to receive this award. The award reflects the hard work, dedication and commitment to staff training that everybody undertakes to ensure that the Prince Edward Theatre is an all-inclusive venue offering the very best 5-star customer service possible.”