• The National Theatre’s internationally acclaimed production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opens with a Relaxed Performance on Mon 3 July.
  • Opening a main stage show with a Relaxed Performance demonstrates Birmingham Hippodrome’s commitment to welcoming all people to enjoy live theatre.
  • Expansion of accessible performances in 2017 also includes Relaxed Performances of The Jungle Book, The Snow Dragon and Cinderella.

Birmingham Hippodrome continues to demonstrate its commitment to accessibility through opening The National Theatre’s internationally acclaimed production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with a specially-adapted Relaxed Performance on Monday 3 July.

The performance heralds a new season of Relaxed Performances across the Hippodrome’s main stage and The Patrick Centre including Jungle Book, The Snow Dragon and seasonal highlight, Birmingham Hippodrome’s Panto, Cinderella.

The Relaxed Performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time is funded through Hippodrome CREATIVE and is the first Birmingham Hippodrome have offered in an early evening slot. The performance aims to give families, and adults with access needs, the opportunity to experience an award-winning production which contains some challenging content, as well as reflecting the slightly older age guidance (11+) for this production.

Relaxed performances are open to anyone, but are intended to cater for people with special needs who may find going to the theatre challenging, in particular people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, learning disability or sensory and communication disorder.

To help make everyone feel welcome at Birmingham Hippodrome during a Relaxed Performance, fewer seats are available for sale, providing increased wheelchair capacity and giving audience members more space to make them feel more comfortable. Attendees are also welcome to walk in and out of the auditorium throughout a production. Certain aspects of staging are also specially adapted for the audience which include minor adjustments to the script, reduced noise levels and the use of raised house lights.

Liz Leck, Creative Learning Manager at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “We have been delivering Relaxed Performances at Birmingham Hippodrome for the last four years, and through each performance we learn more about how we can ensure the most accessible and welcoming experience for all our audiences.

“We are delighted to be extending our Relaxed Performances through our whole Season and to offer an evening performance which we hope will be welcoming to families as well as adults for whom attending a traditional theatre can often be overwhelming. Through opening the run for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with a Relaxed Performance we are hopefully sending a clear message that everyone is welcome at our theatre.”

To find out more about this Relaxed Performance watch: https://youtu.be/Y-_2P-Klgy0

To book for a Relaxed Performance please call us on 0844 338 5000†. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs until Sat 8 July at Birmingham Hippodrome. To find out more about future Relaxed Performances at Birmingham Hippodrome, visit https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/whats-on/access/relaxed-performances/

The Relaxed Performance on 3 July takes place on the eve of On The Verge, a one-day conference on Learning Disability and the Main Stage taking place at Birmingham Hippodrome on Tues 4 July. ‘On The Verge’ will explore Learning Disability through a dynamic and thought-provoking day of conversations, workshops and performances. The conference brings together performers, directors, programmers and casting directors to create a platform for sharing best practice across arts organisations. For more information and to book visit https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/on-the-verge-conference/


For further information contact Helen Annetts, PR on behalf of Birmingham Hippodrome on 07779026720 or email HelenLAnnetts@hotmail.co.uk

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Notes To Editors:

About Relaxed Performances at Birmingham Hippodrome
A relaxed performance is all about creating a welcoming, inclusive and relaxed environment for audiences who may find coming to the theatre overwhelming. Relaxed Performances at Birmingham Hippodrome may feature some or all of the following:

  1. Sensory Rooms– For each Relaxed Performance we create a sensory room for anyone who finds the busy foyers overwhelming
  2. Captioned Boards– We have two caption boards at every Relaxed Performance, for deaf and partially deaf audiences. They display the actors’ words and sound effects in real time
  3. Bean Bags– You’ll find a soft play room at every Relaxed Performance, as a break-out space for us before and during the show.
  4. Community Coaches– With extra funding, we can put on community transport for special schools and support groups to get to the show.
  5. Fidget Toys– Fidget toys are very popular at our Relaxed Performances! Perfect as a calming device for those with sensory needs.
  6. Sign Language Interpreters– Our signers using British Sign Language to interpret the performance.
  7. Audio Describers– Audio Description enables blind and visually impaired audiences to enjoy the show!  It provides a live commentary of all the on-stage action.
  8. Special Schools– By reducing the ticket prices, our Relaxed Performances can be enjoyed by special schools from all over the West Midlands.
  9. Volunteers– We work with volunteers to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for everyone.
  10. A Ten Minute Film– We create a special film to send to audiences, to help reduce any anxieties about visiting us.
  11. Wheelchairs– We create extra wheelchair spaces in the auditorium for every Relaxed Performance, boosting our access offer
  12. Sparkly Hats– If you attend a Relaxed Performance, you’ll see plenty of sparkly hats! They are worn by our staff and volunteers so we are easy to spot.


The Relaxed Performance expansion across the season is funded through the following Trusts:
Birmingham Bodenham Trust

Birmingham Common Good Trust

Dumbreck Charity

Eveson Trust

George Henry Collins Trust

GJW Turner Trust

Grantham Yorke

Grimmitt Trust

Henry James Sayer Charity

The Thousandth Man – Richard Burns Charitable Trust 

Roger & Douglas Turner Trust

W E Dunn Trust

Xoserve Foundation


About The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Winner of 7 Olivier Awards and 5 Tony Awards® including ‘Best Play’, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to thrilling life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony Award®-winning director Marianne Elliott.

Christopher, fifteen years old, has an extraordinary brain – exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. When he falls under the suspicion of killing Mrs Shears’ dog, it takes him on a journey that upturns his world.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs until Sat 8 July at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Access performances include:
Signed: Wed 5 Jul 7.30pm
Captioned: Thu 6 Jul 7.30pm
Audio described: Sat 8 Jul 2.30pm
Touch Tour: Sat 8 Jul 12.30pm. Touch Tours give visually impaired patrons the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the set, props and costumes. Tours must be booked in advance through Ticket Sales on 0844 338 5000 (calls cost 4.5p per min plus access charge)

*Prices and discounts subject to change, 5% transaction charge applies (excluding cash sales in person), postage from £1. † 0844 calls cost 4.5p plus your phone company’s access charge.

Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd, Charity No. 510842. 
Hurst Street, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB.

Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity welcoming an average 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK. Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange are resident partners; the theatre presents all of Welsh National Opera’s repertoire, co-produces the award-winning International Dance Festival and welcomes the best in international dance, major touring dramas, and West End musicals. Home to the world’s biggest Pantomime it also houses the 200-seat Patrick Centre, with extensive events facilities, and its own restaurant.

As a charity with no public revenue funding, Birmingham Hippodrome receives generous support from the business community through sponsorship and other partnerships; from individuals through donations and memberships; and from grant-making Trusts for special programming and infrastructure projects. It is a major employer and plays a leading role in the Southside Business Improvement District.

Through Hippodrome CREATIVE we deliver successful projects in education and the wider community.  With numerous supportive partners we have recently co-produced and produced new events including Minimum Monument, The Voyage, Summer in Southside, About Town, Blitz, the 4 Squares Weekender and Birmingham Weekender (celebrating the opening of New Street and Grand Central alongside the Rugby World Cup).

Recent Hippodrome CREATIVE projects Furious Folly in Sutton Park, a co-commission with 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, B-Side Hip-Hop Festival, a three day celebration of all things Hip-Hop produced in partnership with Break Mission, Graffitiartist.com, Juice Aleem and Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere and X-Ray: The Unknown Quantity – an innovative new digital dance film and sonic soundscape marking the 120th anniversary of the first medical X-Ray.