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A DOUBLE TAKE FOR RELAXED PANTO THANKS TO GENEROSITY OF MELDRUM

Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal Newcastle 

The generous support of Gateshead-based Meldrum Construction has meant that this year there will be two Relaxed Performances of legendary Newcastle Theatre Royal panto Peter Pan instead of one.  Two specially designed, all-inclusive pantomime performances will take place TODAY 9 January and also 16 January.

This is the second year that Meldrum has sponsored the Theatre’s Relaxed Performances which are specifically designed to welcome people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, learning disability or sensory and communication disorder into the theatre and provide an opportunity for people who would otherwise possibly find it difficult to go to see a show.

Managing Director Dave Meldrum said: “Supporting good causes is not just something that we do – it is very much who we are at Meldrum. We believe in making a difference to the lives of those most disadvantaged whether that is through their background, age, disability or illness and we decided to launch the Meldrum Foundation in order to focus our efforts and enable us to support as many fantastic causes as possible.”

He added “We are very proud to be able to continue our association with the Theatre Royal and delighted to be supporting this wonderful initiative.  The thought and care which goes into planning and adapting this amazing show to ensure that the audience feels safe and completely comfortable without losing any of that extra special panto sparkle and magic is second to none.”

The shows will have a less formal, reassuring atmosphere in order to reduce anxiety levels. Lighting and special effects will be slightly altered – including removing strobes and flashing lights and reducing very loud noises, however the content of the shows will not be specifically changed so all the magic of pantomime is maintained. 

A relaxed performance offers a comfortable environment with staff trained to help support members of the audience who make involuntary noise, or are likely to need to talk a lot, or move around and during a relaxed performance it is expected that the auditorium will be noisy.

Staff at Meldrum Construction recently celebrated a successful first year of the Meldrum Foundation, the charity initiative launched in 2017 to make a difference to those across the region most disadvantaged in life.

Through fundraising, donations and sponsorship, the construction firm has pledged more than £30,000 over the course of the year to a range of charities including Heel & Toe, Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, Act for Children and FACT. The Meldrum Foundation’s first act of kindness was supporting Circus Starr and enabling 30 children with special needs to visit the circus.

Dave Meldrum added: “We strive to transform an individual’s quality of life by exposing them to new experiences or by improving the environment in which they live. Our belief is by improving their quality of life, this in turn benefits their friends, family and ultimately the wider community.”

Theatre Royal Chief Executive, Philip Bernays, said: “We are very proud that we are once again flying the flag for Relaxed Performances which year on year prove to be hugely popular for our panto. We are delighted to be able to bring the best panto in the UK to hundreds of children, families and adults who might otherwise never experience its magic. We are dedicated to making our theatre as accessible as possible and have already started taking bookings for next year’s Relaxed Performance of Goldilocks and the Three Bears too!

Peter Pan Relaxed Performances play at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Tuesday 9 January and Tuesday 16 January 2018 at 12 noon.  Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Group Bookings team on 08448 11 21 22 (all calls are charged at 7p a minute plus your phone company’s access charge) or online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk

For more information on sponsorship packages with Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust, an independent registered charity, please contact Michelle Hardie on 0191 244 2599 or email michelle.hardie@theatreroyal.co.uk

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