Theatres put on accessible and inclusive panto performances for Cork audiences

Working with local communities, the Everyman and Cork Opera House are faciliating Christmas pantos for neurodivergent, hard-of-hearing and visually-impaired audiences... oh, yes they are!
Theatres put on accessible and inclusive panto performances for Cork audiences

Some of the cast of The Everyman's production of Cinderella, alongside reps from Irish Guide Dogs, ahead of adapted performances of the panto

Panto season is upon us, and soon the theatres of the city will be beset by well-meaning heroes, saucy dames and wicked villains, spinning tales as old as time for the delight of generations of theatre-goers.

And there'll be fun for all this Christmas season, as the two grandes dames of the Cork panto scene, the Everyman and Cork Opera House, have announced inclusive performances of their respective spectaculars.

The Everyman's production of Cinderella will include an audio-described performance for visually-impaired audiences, as well as a touch tour of the historic venue, on Thursday December 29; and an ISL (Irish Sign Language)-interpreted performance for the hard-of-hearing on Saturday, January 7.

Speaking about the inclusive performances, The Everyman Executive Director, Seán Kelly, says; "The Everyman has always aimed to be for everyone, a home for all of the citizens of Cork, young and old. 

"We are so, so pleased that Christmas 2022 will see us present our most inclusive panto ever with more performances to suit even more children and grown-ups. We simply can’t wait to welcome all you to Cinderella."

Frank Mackey who also plays Nanny Nellie, and Trevor Ryan, who is also the Director, pictured at the launch of "Sleeping Beauty", this year's panto at Cork Opera House - including an adapted 'relaxed' performance.
Frank Mackey who also plays Nanny Nellie, and Trevor Ryan, who is also the Director, pictured at the launch of "Sleeping Beauty", this year's panto at Cork Opera House - including an adapted 'relaxed' performance.

The Cork Opera House, in the meantime, is staging a 'relaxed' production of its take on Sleeping Beauty, on Wednesday January 4, 2023, tailored specifically for neurodivergent audiences, and people with sensory-processing differences; including the adjustment of sound and lighting to reduce stimuli, and a reduced capacity to give attendees space to move, make noise and enjoy the show. All are welcome, as are assistance or service dogs.

Says the venue in a statement: "Our relaxed performances will be a judgement-free and fun experience for the entire family.

"Cork Opera House has worked closely with the autistic community and parents/carers of autistic children to tailor the Panto experience for autistic children and children with sensory processing differences."

  • To book tickets for the Everyman's audio-described performance and touch tour of Cinderella, email access@everymancork.com, or call 021 450 1780. Tickets for the ISL-interpreted performance can be booked via everymancork.com, in person or by calling the box office.
  • Tickets for the Opera House's relaxed performance are available online here.

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