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Shrek The Musical Relaxed Performance

"I so rarely feel brave enough to attempt family trips, especially to proper West End shows and last night was a complete success for us. My daughter was transfixed with the show and all the special arrangements that were put in place for families like myself made all the difference to our enjoyment. Please pass on my sincerest thanks to all for an evening to remember that enabled us to feel normal as a family. Thank you!”  Mother of 3 children, all with special needs (16, 12, 7)

Read the article about the event in The Stage here: 'Extra Special Performances'

On Wednesday, 16th May, Mousetrap Theatre Projects staged the first-ever ‘relaxed performance’ in the West End for families with children with special needs at Shrek The Musical.  Over 500 families attended this special performance filling every seat in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. 

This was a 'Relaxed Performance' for children with sensory and communication needs who require a more relaxed environment: Some of the loud and bright  elements of the production were toned down to cater to the children’s sensitivities. There were also allocated areas in the theatre for children who needed to leave the auditorium, where they could sit on bean bags and watch the show by relay screen. 

All families were sent materials including a Special Educational Needs Resource Pack, a ‘Visual Story’ and a ‘Sensory Synopsis’ designed to prepare the young people for their theatre experience as well as detailed event and travel information for the accompanying adults.

“You won't need me to tell you how liberating it is to be able to take a special needs child to an event where his/her challenging behaviour is the norm rather than the exception. It makes their experiences of life a great deal broader than they might otherwise be - and their family's likewise.”  Father (Child 7 years old, Autism)

The performance began with Richard Blackwood, who plays Donkey, introducing one of the featured songs in Shrek The Musical, ‘I’m A Believer’, and getting the entire audience to sing along. When the song was sung in the final few minutes of the musical, most of the audience was on its feet singing. 

This performance was funded by ICAP through its support of Mousetrap Theatre Projects’ ICAP Theatre Journeys for Special Schools.  Families were identified through London state secondary special schools and over 200 organisations that support families with children with special needs.  Children came to the performance for free; accompanying adults paid £5.  Generous support for this ‘relaxed performance’ was also received from DreamWorks Theatricals, Playful Productions, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the cast and production team of Shrek The Musical.

“I cannot tell you what a joy it was to see my son sitting in a West End theatre enjoying himself and to also feel relaxed as a parent that if anything went wrong, we wouldn't be judged by those around us. These performances must make such a difference to so many families.” Parent (Child, 7 years old, Autism)

The resources provided for the attending families included: 

  •  - SEN Educational Resource Pack   
  •  - Visual Story
  •  - Sensory Synopsis
  •  - Venue Information and Public Transport
  •  - Parking Near Theatre Royal, Drury Lane


With huge thanks to our supporters:

ICAP, DreamWorks, Playful Productions, RUG, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, The Cornershop PR, SEE Tickets

All pictures copyright Alex Rumford. All rights reserved.  www.alexrumford.com

Contact Us

Mousetrap Theatre Projects
33 Shaftesbury Avenue,

Visitors: Entrance is on Rupert Street

t: 020 7632 4111
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Also, find us here:

Registered charity number 1053434