On 18th January, as part of my birthday treat, we went to watch the relaxed performance of Scottish Ballets festive production ‘Cinders’ at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre.
The ballet is breaking with the traditional story of Cinderella with a surprise in store each night for the audience. As the curtain rises: on some nights, Cinders will be a woman, swept off her feet by her Prince, and on others, Cinders will be a man, swept off his feet by his Princess. What a fantastic idea in today’s modern society!
We were hoping to see the performance with Cinders being swept off his feet by his princess. But we had to wait and see…
We chose a relaxed performance for Eve (who’s autistic), as she has never been to a ballet before or seen a performance with a live 64 piece orchestra and we weren’t sure how she’d react as she can struggle with loud noises.
On arrival at the theatre we were greeted by several lovely staff members who scanned our tickets and invited us to meet some of the dancers.
I believe this was a special benefit for everyone who was watching the relaxed performance. And it was certainly a hit! The 4 dancers were fantastic: they talked to adults and children alike and posed for photo after photo.
As part of the relaxed performance, before the curtain went up, we were given an introduction to the ballet. A member of staff along with a British Sign Language interpreter set the scene for the ballet and introduced the cast who came onto stage as a visual identification. This was incredibly helpful for Eve.
The orchestra also did a demonstration of how quiet and how loud their music could be. We were made aware of staff members around the theatre who were there to help as well as a breakout room with a live stream of the performance for anyone who needed this space.
We were also informed the lights would remain on, albeit dimmed, and we were allowed to make noise and move around the theatre.
It was clear that the Festival Theatre and Scottish Ballet had put a lot of time and effort into ensuring this performance was as relaxed as possible and accessible for all. It was brilliant to see this inclusivity!
Then the curtain went up…
We were delighted to be watching Cinders being swept off his feet by his princess! Yes!
The performance was brilliant! There aren’t words to describe how fantastic it was!
The dancers were incredible, they told the story brilliantly through their movement. Their poise and skill was astounding. Coupled with the amazing music and performance by the orchestra, it was just breathtaking!
The new take on Cinders was the icing on the cake!
I would highly recommend this incredible performance. They are now touring and will be in Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle.
We will be looking at future productions in the hopes of booking another ballet soon.
The Festival Theatre stands on Edinburgh’s longest continuous theatre site and offers a range of world-class productions.
Famous faces have performed here over the years including Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy.
The theatre aims to be accessible for all with Audio Description, British Sign Language Interpreted, Captioned and Touch Tours on the majority of their shows.
Further information can be found here https://www.capitaltheatres.com/your-visit/festival-theatre/access
All tickets for the relaxed performance were £12.50 each and only the stalls were open for seating.
Please let us know in the comments if you have been to a ballet before and your thoughts on your experience
Thanks for reading