Monday, 30 March 2015

Lion King To Stage Autism Friendly Performance This August

The Lion King is to stage an autism friendly performance for the third year running at the Lyceum this August.

The show which will be staged in collaboration with the National Autistic Society on August 30th at 1.30pm will see a reduction in strobe lighting and jarring sounds with the cast and staff in the theatre also being specially trained to tend to any special needs of customers with autism spectrum disorders.  There will also be designated quiet areas set up in the theatre available, staffed by experts for any individuals wanting to leave the auditorium at any time.

As well as doing their utmost to make customers feel at ease during the performance of the show, the musical have also created an autism-friendly website which has an easy booking system and includes a downloadable 'social story' to help autistic clients in preparation for their visit and provides a user friendly guide aimed to reduce anxiety by guiding customers through the entire process from their arrival at the theatre through to the final curtain of the show
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The Lion King is not alone in trying to raise awareness for people suffering from autism, learning disabilities, autism spectrum conditions, and other sensory or communication disorders as two other West End productions,  The Railway Children and Matilda The Musical   will also stage relaxed and specially designed performances in 2015

For more information on the special autism friendly performance of The Lion King in London on August 30th 2015 please visit

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Cast Changes For Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Lara Denning is to swap one Roald Dahl tale for another as she makes the short move across Covent Garden from the Cambridge Theatre where she currently stars in the much loved RSC production of Matilda The Musical as Miss Honey to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane where she will now play the role of Mrs Bucket in the smash hit family stage show Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

Other new members of the cast joining the production are Jonathan Slinger who will now take over the role of the mysterious and wonderful Willy Wonka, and Kraig Thornber and Mark Oxtoby who will now play Grandpa Joe and Jerry respectively.  Other changes in the show include original cast members Ross Dawes and Derek Hagen who are to swap their current roles as Jerry and Mr Teavee to take on the parts of Mr Salt and Mr Bucket

The West End stage production of the classic Roald Dahl story about Charlie Bucket who wins the lifechanging opportunity to enter Willy Wonka's mysterious, secretive and wonderful chocolate factory first opened in London at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th June 2013.  The show was written by David Greig, with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and the challenging role of director was taken on by Sam Mendes.

The show transferred well from screen to stage winning two Laurence Olivier Awards in 2014 for Best Costume Design and Best Lighting Design, and received mixed to positive reviews from West End critics as the production and quality of the performances were generally praised, the musical score received some negative critique as it differed from the much loved and well known songs from the original movie. 

The new members of the cast will get their first outing at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the show on May 4th. 

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory tickets are currently available to book until June 4th 2016 giving West End audiences at least another year of chocolate coated fun!

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