Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer

December 2016

Martin Harris Centre’s first relaxed performance a festive success

(20 December 2016)

On Friday 16 December the Martin Harris Centre welcomed over 200 people to its first relaxed performance.

 The event, which was a Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long, featured musicians and singers from the Manchester University Music Society, and was hosted by Simon Ruding, Director of Theatres in Prisons and Probation.

‘Relaxed’ performances are specifically designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more informal environment, including people with an autism spectrum condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability.   

The Centre was proud to welcome a diverse audience, including groups from specialist schools from across Greater Manchester, community groups, those living with dementia, staff, students and members of the public. 

Visitors were encouraged to join in with carol singing, led by talented Music Society members and were actively encouraged to participate with instruments, bells, rattles and even keys! The enjoyment in the audience was plain to see, with babies roaming the aisles, dancers taking to the stage, and visitors of all ages dressed in festive hats and jumpers.

Many audience members remarked afterwards how delightful it was to attend an informal event that was welcoming to parents with babies, people living with dementia and pupils from specialist schools – people who would usually feel unable to attend a traditional carol concert. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the Centre can’t wait to host the next relaxed performance! 

The event was presented as part of the Martin Harris Centre’s campaign to become a more accessible arts venue.