I blogged last week to share the fact that The Lowry theatre now offer relaxed performances of some of their shows. A few days after I published that blog post, Sam and I went to see the relaxed performance of The Gruffalo’s Child.
When we arrived at The Lowry, we had to queue for around 5 minutes to collect our tickets. We were then given directions to the theatre where The Gruffalo’s Child was being performed, and set off walking. It was a good 5 minutes’ walk away, so I was pleased I had taken Sam’s special needs pushchair with us.
Once we got over to the right area of the theatre, all guests were greeted by the team. I was immediately asked if Sam needed to be transferred from his pushchair into his seat. I explained that he can walk, and was then advised where to leave his buggy during the performance.
Sam was in awe of the view from the waiting area…
There was an activity table where children could make masks before the show started, but Sam was more interested in watching the water so we didn’t join in with the activity. I did buy him a Gruffalo’s Child “flag” type thing. He loved spinning it around in his hand, watching the character spin.
Sam has Autism and is non verbal. He would never manage to sit through a standard performance without getting overwhelmed, so the relaxed performances are ideal for us. We were in seats H1 and H2 in the stalls, and had a great view. (shown below). We had to go down a flight of stairs to get to our seats, but there was a lift, and plenty of staff on hand to help, if you needed assistance getting to your seats. This was our view before the show started. The lights did go down a bit more than this, but you could still see to find your way out of the theatre, should you need to.
The lights remained on low throughout the performance, and nobody batted an eyelid when children got a bit worked up or were waving flags and obstructing views slightly.
Sam absolutely loved the show. He sat in his seat, squealing with excitement every time the characters broke into song! He was completely focussed on the show for the first 3/4 of the performance. He got a little restless for the last 10 minutes, but once he’d pulled his iPad out of my bag and set it playing on mute, with the screen brightness right down, he calmed down and watched the last part of the show. (Sam’s iPad is his “security blanket” – I think that when he is feeling anxious, just having it nearby calms him massively).
All told, we had an amazing afternoon. The only thing I would say is make sure you take drinks with you as the bar closest to the theatre we were using was closed. After walking 5 minutes to get there, we didn’t have enough time to walk back to the main foyer, queue and get back to our seats before the show started. We had a great time though, and are really looking forward to attending another relaxed performance soon.
You can read more about relaxed performances, and see the full schedule of relaxed performances HERE.
We were given 2 complimentary tickets to the gruffalo’s child, but all words and opinions are my own.