Hi – this is a blog about relaxed performances, created by Dr Ben Fletcher-Watson from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Relaxed performances allow people with autism, dementia, Tourette’s or learning disabilities to enjoy a non-judgmental environment in the theatre, where they can talk or move around as suits them. Relaxed performances – also known as sensory-friendly or autism-friendly performances – now occur at theatres around the world. The sort of changes you might see at a relaxed performance include reduced intensity of lighting and sound, visual stories to familiarise spectators with the venue and production, a chill-out space in the lobby, and trained staff available to assist visitors.

I’m researching this fascinating new area of performance, seeking to find out what audiences like or don’t like about relaxed performances, how they find out about them, how they prepare for a visit to the theatre, and how venues and companies can improve their relaxed performances.

If you want to contact me, you can email ben.fletcher-watson@ed.ac.uk or fill in this form: