Royal Opera House puts on first relaxed performance of The Nutcracker


The Royal Opera House is delighted to welcome families as part of this year’s Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat to watch the first relaxed performance of the festive classic, The Nutcracker. Thanks to the generosity of the Helen Hamlyn Trust, in memory of the late Paul Hamlyn, those who are signed up to the Royal Opera House Access Scheme will be able to purchase £5 tickets for this special performance on 9 December 2023.

This relaxed performance will be designed to support audiences who are neurodiverse. It may also support patrons with learning disabilities, living with dementia and those who prefer a more relaxed experience generally. The Royal Opera House and Main Stage will be adapted to create an inclusive and supportive environment, including providing chill-out zones, embracing audience noise and avoiding flashing lights.

While this is not the first relaxed performance at the Royal Opera House, setting up one of The Royal Ballet’s most iconic pieces on the Main Stage for greater access and inclusion is an exciting step forward in the Royal Opera House’s accessibility journey.

The Royal Opera House will continue to work with accessibility experts and communities to ensure that steps are continuously being taken to make the theatre experience as inclusive as possible. This includes more accessible theatre shows being confirmed for the 2024/2025 Season.

To learn more about the Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat, visit the Royal Opera House website.

Jill Bradford, ALAG/Autism Hub Project /Volunteer Coordinator, and Choirmaster of The Autistic Adult Choir, said:

‘We are delighted to be part of the first relaxed performance on the Main Stage of ROH. Providing such relaxed spaces and opportunities that are safe, accessible, and welcoming of everyone will help in creating a community where everyone has the opportunity to take part.’

David Cohen, ALAG/Autism Hub volunteer, said:

‘In a way, (relaxed performances) are a way to totally reclaim the fact I’m autistic. I don’t care if there’s noise or movement around me, as this is telling me that I’m amongst my group, my culture.’