Cast members and audience members at the King's Theatre's relaxed performance of Aladdin


The National Autistic Society Scotland helped launch a relaxed performance of Aladdin at The King's Theatre in Glasgow on Wednesday 19 December.

People we support met stars of the panto beforehand including Frances Mayli McCann - who plays Jasmine – Lisa Lynch - who plays Scheherazade - and Lee Dillon-Stewart who plays Aladdin.

The relaxed performance, which took place for a fifth consecutive year, was attended by more than 850 people, and specifically designed to welcome autistic people, people with learning difficulties, and people with other sensory and communication needs.

Lighting, sound and special effects were softened to reduce anxiety, and the house lights were kept on low. Audience members were also free to move around the theatre and had access to specially created chill-out areas to relax.

Our charity provided dedicated training for cast, crew and front of house staff to help tailor the customer experience and ensure families and school groups felt at ease. Staff members and volunteers were also on-hand to provide assistance during the performance.

Nick Ward, National Director at the National Autistic Society Scotland said:

Autism-friendly performances are a fantastic way for autistic people to enjoy a pantomime.

“We know that two thirds of autistic people in Scotland feel socially isolated – but we also know that small adjustments can often make a big difference, meaning they can access and enjoy an experience, which is, for many families, an important Christmas tradition.

“I’m so pleased that our charity was able to work with the King’s Theatre for the fifth year running to make its pantomime autism-friendly”.

Alison Cowan, Creative Learning Manager at the King’s Theatre, said: “I am delighted that once again the King’s was able to offer this inclusive theatre experience with the support and expertise of the National Autistic Society Scotland."

The Ambassador Theatre Group created a number of online resources to help autistic people and their families prepare in advance for their visit. This included autism-friendly downloadable guides and flash cards to help describe the plot and characters of the pantomime.

The National Autistic Society Scotland wants to support more organisations in Scotland to become autism-friendly. Find out more about our Autism-Friendly Award here.