Circa Theatre

Relax with Robin Hood

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This year at Circa Theatre something special will be taking place; for the first time in New Zealand, Circa's summer pantomime will include a Relaxed Performance of Roger Hall's Robin Hood, directed by Susan Wilson.

A Relaxed Performance is a stage production different to your usual theatre show.  It is constructed with the needs of disabled audience members in mind, particularly those with intellectual disabilities and those who are on the autism spectrum. Here at Circa we understand that, for certain groups of people, the theatre can be a difficult place to navigate with all its codes and conventions.

People with disabilities, especially children and their families, can find it near impossible to be comfortable in a theatre environment; especially when staying quiet and siting in your seat for the duration of the entire show is out of the question!


Circa theatre's Relaxed Performance will be aimed at youth with disabilities, both mental and physical. It will construct a safe environment for them to watch and enjoy a live theatrical experience. Relaxed Performances in England have been a great success with parents of children with disabilities remarking how the theatre allowed for an open and friendly space that was comfortable for their children. It provided a lovely environment for a family friendly experience; many remarked on how they would return for other relaxed performances.

Circa theatre will prepare the young audience members; showing them photos of the performance space in advance, the show will be conducted in less intense lighting, less loud noises, the house lights will probably remain on, the children can roam around the space and sit where they like, there will be a break-out space, and they will also be shown images of the actors in and out of makeup so there are no nasty surprises.

This relaxed performance will not isolate members of our society who are different; instead it will celebrate their differences, conveying to them an important message that we are able to accommodate their differences and they will not be ostracised. For children, this message is extremely important because it will teach them that they are not limited because of their disabilities. Families will be able to spend time together without worry of embarrassment or agitation, not leaving members of their family behind who do not understand theatre conventions.

Watching theatre can be channelling at times and through the relaxed performance we hope we are able to achieve a different perspective of the theatre experience, which is more family orientated and enjoyable.


Circa is committed to making theatre accessible, and we have provided Audio Described performances as well as New Zealand Sign Language interpreted performances to accommodate the blind and Deaf communities. Now they seek to help make the theatre a comfortable place for children with disabilities through the conventions of a Relaxed Performance.

If you believe everyone has a right to enjoy theatre than please donate to help Circa do something unique and truly special.

Circa Theatre is creating something meaningful; but to do this we need your help. The Relaxed Performance requires extra training for our actors and a smaller audience for our theatre space.  Cost is a barrier to many families who have a family member with a disability, and so we are aiming to subsidise the ticket cost.

We also want to use this Relaxed Performance as a way to upskill the national theatre community.  We want to bring our colleagues from theatres around New Zealand to Wellington to see the performance and learn from it for their own accessibility programmes.  This will include the creation of resource to support the performance.

The overall cost for this project is $15,000; we are coming to you, our audience, to help raise $2,500 to make this important performance happen.

We live in a time where society is more accepting of differences. We need to start accommodating these differences, making them a normal part of everyday life. We are extremely passionate about bringing amazing theatre to the masses; please help us to pay it forward to make theatre available to everyone.



  • Arts Access Reaction to Relaxing with Robin Hood.


    Thank you to everyone who helped make Circa theatre's relaxed performance of “Robin Hood” happen! Both relaxed performance went down a treat and there was defiantly a lot to learn and experience.
    Arts Access Aotearoa posted about the relaxed performance, follow the link below to read their stunningly positive review.
    Once again a huge thankyou to everyone who offered Circa Theatre support to make this performance a reality. This will defiantly be more relaxed performances in the future!


    Arts Access Reaction to Relaxing with Robin Hood.
  • Introducing Georgia


    Circa’s Accessibility programme covers a wide variety of ways to make theatre more available. We put on NZ Sign Language interpreted performances for the Deaf community; Audio Described performances for those with visual impairment; we work with Everybody Cool Lives Here, a company that produces theatre with a cast and crew of youth with intellectual disabilities; and now extend this to include a Relaxed Performance.

    The process of pulling together these performances requires a complex negotiation between the Director, actors, audience, Box Office, supporting organisations (such as Arts Access Aotearoa and Autism New Zealand) and volunteers. This year, Circa has been very fortunate to have Georgia Latief join our team as Accessibility Intern.

    Georgia is a third year student at Victoria University studying Theatre, Media Studies, and Creative Writing. Georgia was looking to meet more people in the theatre community, and what better way than helping to negotiate the Relaxed Performance of Robin Hood: The Pantomime. She has been working closely with Director Susan Wilson to ensure that the performance runs smoothly, and has been involved in all stages of putting on the Relaxed Performance.

    Georgia even wrote the text for our Boosted campaign, which has been so warmly received. Thank you again to all of those who have donated so far. We are so close now at 97% - just $60 more to reach 100% funded!

    Introducing Georgia
  • Book Your Tickets Now!


    Booking are now live for the Relaxed Performance of Robin Hood: The Pantomime.

    On Wednesday 9 December at 1pm we will be holding a showing for School Groups. Tickets are $5 per person. School bookings need to be made to the Circa Box Office: 04 801 7992.

    On Saturday 12 December at 2pm the performance will be open to youth with disabilities and their families. Ticket costs will be $10 for adults and $5 for children. Bookings for this public performance can be made by calling the Box Office or on the Circa website:

    Thanks to the IHC Foundation and all of the donors to our Boosted project, without whom this amazing opportunity would not be going forth.

    Pictured: The cast of Robin Hood: The Pantomime in rehearsal.

    Book Your Tickets Now!
  • Great news from the IHC Foundation


    One weekend and we're already 52% funded!  We'd love to give a huge THANK YOU! to all of those who have donated so far.  We really appreciate your support.

    We have great news - our application to the IHC Foundation for our Relaxed Performance has been accepted!  This means that we are now one step closer to making our Relaxed Performance of Robin Hood: The Pantomime a reality.

    The IHC Foundation has been a great supporter of Circa Theatre's accessibility programme.  Earlier this year, the Foundation supported Everybody Cool Lives Here and Active (a service for youth with an intellectual impairment) to put on Wake Up Tomorrow for the 2015 Fringe Festival.  The play was a sell-out success, and won (count them) six Fringe Awards, including Best in Fringe.

    Our next step is success on Boosted.  You can help by sharing our project with your friends & colleagues.  The more who know about our project, the merrier we'll all be!

    Great news from the IHC Foundation

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