Relaxed Performance of Up Down Boy

By | September 17, 2013

I love the whole occasion of going to the theatre. I haven’t done so for a long time now but when I worked in the City it was lovely to go to the theatre after work and see some great performances.

It’s something that I’d like T and D to experience one day, but their anxieties and other people’s perceptions don’t make for a great combination.

Many places are now offering "relaxed performances" to enable children with learning disabilities and their families to enjoy performances/cinema trips without feeling worried that other people will judge them.

One such performance is happening this weekend at The National Theatre, I was asked – and am very happy – to share this information below, along with ticket availability and details

There are plans for more "relaxed performances" in the future and I hope to attend one and report back here.

In the meantime:

Saturday 21 September at 3pm in The Shed, National Theatre​
A ‘Relaxed Performance’ of UP DOWN BOY by Myrtle Theatre Company in association with Salisbury Playhouse, will take place on Saturday 21 September at 3pm in The Shed, the National Theatre’s temporary venue.
Specifically designed to welcome people with a learning disability, Down’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Condition or sensory and communication disorders into the theatre, Relaxed Performances give those who otherwise might feel excluded from the chance to experience live performance.
UP DOWN BOY is written by Sue Shields – the mother of a child with Down’s Syndrome – with creative support from Catherine Johnson (writer of Mamma Mia!). The central character, Matty, is played by the writer’s own son.
Matty is off to college in an hour – and he’s left it to Mum to pack his case. She won’t miss the slamming doors, the queue for the bathroom and the phone bills. But Matty is no ordinary teenager and will his mother cope without him? This honest and uplifting play was inspired by the extraordinary life story of a boy with Down’s syndrome and his mother’s humorous perspective on bringing him up.
Relaxed Performances have a less formal, more supportive atmosphere in order to reduce anxiety levels. There is a relaxed attitude to audience noise and movement and some small changes made to the light and sound effects. Parts of The Shed foyer will be available as a quiet space for those who need to leave and re-enter the auditorium during the show. After the performance, the audience will have the opportunity to stay to meet the actors who will be in costume but out of character. ‘Visual stories’, which give information about the theatre and the show, will be provided to all bookers to help support their visit.

Myrtle Theatre Company’s other productions include Hot Air which will play at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatre in July and August.

The age recommendation for this production is 12yrs+

The Shed Partner is Neptune Investment Management.

You can follow The Shed on Twitter @ntSHED using #ntSHED or visit for more information about the venue and what’s on.

For further information please contact: Susie Newbery on 020 7452 3061;
Public Information

The Shed, National Theatre, London
Tickets: £12
Book tickets online at or call 020 7452 3961, open 9.30am – 8pm.

Relaxed Performance of Up Down Boy
Relaxed Performance of Up Down Boy
Relaxed Performance of Up Down Boy
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