What is a Relaxed Performance?



We’re delighted to be working with the National Theatre to host the first relaxed performance of ‘War Horse’ in the north of England, which will take place on Thu 28 June.

 If you’ve heard the term ‘relaxed performance’ before, but aren’t too sure what that means, here’s a quick introduction…

 A relaxed performance is a live theatre show that has been adapted for anyone who might prefer a more relaxed environment, or who may have a general anxiety around coming to an unfamiliar place like a theatre. Everyone is welcome at a relaxed performance.

The theatre doors will be left open and the audience is free to come and go as they please during the performance – there will also be a designated quiet area away from the performance if it’s needed.

It won’t be as dark as usual in the theatre, strobe lighting is avoided and if there is music then it tends to be played more quietly with fewer loud or sudden sound effects. However, apart from these sound and lighting effects,  the show itself won’t usually be changed at all; the plot and script is the same whether you come to a regular or relaxed performance.

There will be lots of friendly staff on hand to answer any questions you might have, before, during and after the performance. The theatre staff won’t tell you to be quiet if you or someone you’re with chatters, fidgets, makes noise or shouts out during the performance.

There are no rules about what to wear at a relaxed performance. You can wear whatever you normally like to wear when you go out: if you like to dress up, go for it, if you prefer to be more casual, that’s fine too.

We understand some people may feel anxious about visiting somewhere unfamiliar, like The Lowry. We’ve created an online interactive video tour, which will allow you to ‘look around’ the building before you get here, and there’s also a guide to the story of ‘War Horse’, including photos from the show, available on our website. 

And finally, if you’d like to visit us in advance and have a look around the theatre, we’d be happy to arrange that for you.


What is ‘War Horse’ about?

‘War Horse’ is a story set in the First World War, following a young man called Albert and his beloved horse Joey, who get caught up in the fighting in France.

The play is based on but not exactly the same as, the book by Michael Morpurgo, which is also called ‘War Horse’. (You might have also seen the film version which came out in 2011). Although it is a play not a musical, there is quite a lot of music and singing in the show.

The horses and other animals in the show are life size puppets that are operated by specially trained puppeteers.

There are some scenes that are set on the battlefields, and the noise and danger is recreated with sound and lighting effects.  

We wouldn’t recommend ‘War Horse’ for very young children, but it is suitable for older children aged 10+, and adults. Check out this video here.


War Horse Relaxed Performance

Thu 28 June, 2pm

Tickets £20 | Essential companions go free.

To book please call 0161 876 2183

More about the show here.