A THEATRE will stage accessible performances of its Christmas panto, so that all audiences can share in the festive fun.

Since late-November, Gala Durham has been staging its annual panto with a production of Robin Hood, which runs until Sunday, January 9.

The city venue will hold a British Sign Language and captioned performance of Robin Hood on Wednesday, January 5, at 6pm, for audiences with hearing impairments who would benefit from assisted interpretation.

And on Thursday, January 6, at 6pm, it will stage a relaxed performance of the show. Created for children and adult audiences with autism, learning difficulties or sensory conditions, relaxed performances are designed for those who would benefit from watching the production in a more informal environment.

Audiences are free to talk or move around if they need to, and a time out space is available for anyone who needs a break. Lighting, sound and special effects are slightly altered in order to reduce anxiety levels, and staff are trained to create a friendly setting and assist with any additional needs.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Visiting the theatre is a great trip out for families, especially at this time of year when we have our fun-filled Christmas programme. Our festive season is full of fantastic productions and is a key part of our culture and events calendar, which is one of the reasons the county is bidding for UK City of Culture 2025.

“We want all audiences to be able to visit our venues and enjoy our shows, so our accessible performances have been specially adapted to suit different needs and abilities.

“Following Rose Ayling-Ellis’ success on Strictly Come Dancing, we've noticed a lot of interest from audience members wanting to learn sign language, and our BSL performances have been just as popular.

“There is still time to book one of our shows before the year ends, so we encourage families to come along to a performance that suits them and enjoy the fun.”

Visit galadurham.co.uk or call the Gala’s box office 03000-266600.

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