The Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen and the Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot are making another song and dance – ” Oh Yes They Are!” As they open their doors for the FIRST time to introduce Relaxed Performances to Theatre audiences this Christmas and New Year.
As you may already know (we have been going on about it just a little!) Pantomime arrives in South Wales in the form of Dick Whittington from 9th December 2016 until 22nd January, with limited runs at 4 Theatres of this extravagant tale about local boy Dick and his navigating cat Tom Tom.
However there are certain performances out of the run that the staff at the Lyric Theatre Carmarthen and Princess Royal Theatre Port Talbot are most excited about, the first of their kind to be hosted at these Theatres and the first for Pantomime for Jermin Productions!
We are making our Dick Whittington Pantomime a Panto production like no other. Building on our reputation as the “best affordable Panto in South Wales,” we are hoping to build our reputation and soar like other Theatre companies in the UK by making this year’s Dick Whittington ACCESSIBLE to AUDIENCES this Winter. This will be done by the help and support from our Theatres that we visit by continuing to host signed performances and to introduce our first ever relaxed performances at the Lyric Theatre Carmarthen and Princess Royal Theatre Port Talbot.
What are Relaxed Performances?
This specifically designed Relaxed Performance of Dick Whittington hosted by Jermin Productions is to welcome people into the world of Pantomime who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment. Audiences who may prefer this type of performance may include Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders or a learning disability. There is a relaxed attitude to involuntary noises and movement from audience members within the auditorium.
For our Relaxed Performance there will be small changes to elements of the production to reduce the intensity of the Pantomime production. Lighting and Sound levels are adjusted to soften their impact for a more enjoyable and relaxed environment for all who attend. Audience members are able to walk in and out of the Auditorium as they need to and there will be a designated quiet space to help with stress levels.
On Friday 16th December at 5.00pm Jermin Productions will be performing their first Relaxed Performance at the Lyric Theatre Carmarthen.
On Saturday 21st January at 10.00am Jermin Productions will be performing another relaxed performance at The Princess Royal Theatre Port Talbot.
It will not only be a first for our company but a first for each Theatre and a first for Pantomime in South Wales!
Although Relaxed Performances are common events and have developed in the West End Theatre industry since Mousetrap Theatre Projects organised the first Relaxed Performance in 2012 of Shrek the Musical, it is yet to really take Wales by storm. We at Jermin Productions are ready to share this fantastic idea with the audiences of South Wales. They hope that from offering these kind of performances as part of their Pantomime production of Dick Whittington, to target new audiences who may have never been able to enjoy Pantomime or Children’s Theatre before.
Nia Jermin says: “Accessibility is key for us this year… we want our production to be enjoyed by as many as possible. We have adapted our school performance times to make our production more convenient for school trips and bus transport, and we have increased the number of signed performances for BSL users too. We are delighted to be able to host a Relaxed Performance in a Theatre and environment that is so supportive, and are looking forward to working with the staff Lyric Theatre and Princess Royal Theatre on this production.Their support and drive behind this idea is unwavering and we definitely couldn’t have developed this concept without their help”
“It’s really important that we follow Theatre trends and carefully create a Theatre experience for people with learning disabilities and their families or carers so that everyone can enjoy the wonder of theatre” added Mark Jermin.
Why has this idea excelled in the theatrical industry?
Many aspects of a standard theatre experience can cause a number of difficulties for autistic people. Unexpected music, lights going up and down, loud applause and even a busy foyer can be unsettling.
Jeremy Newton, chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, said the plan was to make such performances part of the mainstream. With these performances having a more permanent residency in London’s West End it seems that it is only a matter of time before the trend moves into Welsh borders, luckily for us Jermin Productions have kept us up to speed by being well and truly on the ball.
We are also offering Signed Performances too!
Jermin Productions, the Lyric Theatre Carmarthen, Theatr Brycheniog and the Princess Royal Theatre Port Talbot are also all offering signed performances of Dick Whittington as part of the annual Pantomime run, to welcome deaf and hearing impaired audiences to this festive production. A trained describer will stand to one side of the stage and interpret the script and language used by the performers at the same time it is being performed.
Jermin Productions will also be offering signed performances on the following dates:
Saturday 10th December at 1pm (Lyric Theatre Carmarthen)
Friday 30th December at 2pm (Theatr Brycheiniog)
Sunday 15th January at 2pm (Princess Royal Port Talbot)
Wednesday 18th January at 10am (Princess Royal Port Talbot)