CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today CLICK HERE

Family time

PUBLISHED: 14:30 08 September 2015

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the acclaimed play telling the tale of an autistic teenager, comes to  the Theatre Royal this month.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the acclaimed play telling the tale of an autistic teenager, comes to the Theatre Royal this month.


As acclaimed play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time arrives in Norwich, Rachel Buller discovers how those with autism are being helped to access the arts.

Telling the story of an autistic boy struggling to make sense of the wider world, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time gives a fascinating glimpse into the mind of those living with autism.

This month, the acclaimed stage version of Mark Haddon’s book comes to the Norwich Theatre Royal, raising awareness of the condition which affects hundreds of people in Norfolk alone. The theatre is one of several places in the county which now offers special performances of some of its key shows to ensure they can be enjoyed by those with autism and their families.

Anne Ebbage, Norfolk autism development advisor for Autism Anglia, says it is essential to both raise understanding of the condition and also improve access to the arts for those diagnosed.

“People with autism can have issues making sense of their sensory intake, what they are seeing, hearing and even smelling and touching. It can be very hard to process and deal with these new experiences and to know how to react.

“But often, their behaviours are really a way for them to communicate. It is their way of saying ‘I don’t know what is going on; I don’t understand and there is too much going on for me’.”

Anne has been closely involved in developing the theatre’s “relaxed performances” - another of which is planned for this year’s pantomime - where there is low lighting and the audience can move in and out of the auditorium. Prior to the show, ticket holders are also sent an information pack about what to expect.

“It doesn’t give away the plot but prepares them, warning them about when there might be a loud noise or flashing lights. A video on the website gives a visual guide to what it is like going to the theatre, where you sit and what the auditorium and stage looks like,” she says. “Before the relaxed performances, staff and volunteers are also given a briefing about what to possibly expect and they are absolutely brilliant at putting parents and carers at ease. We want these shows to be a gateway to enabling people to move on to other performances in the future.”

Anne says that people are increasingly more aware about autism and that books like The Curious Incident create debate and increase understanding.

“It can be very isolating, because families can feel uncomfortable taking their children out because their behaviour can be unpredictable, which means siblings often miss out. At the moment, we are driving an autism alliance project to create a charter to make communities more autism-friendly, and the Theatre Royal, Bewilderwood, local cinemas and some cafes are already on board which is fantastic.”

More from Out & About

Sunday, October 28, 2018

For a county that’s so steeped in history, it’s not surprising that Norfolk has its fair share of ghost sightings and paranormal activity. We have gathered an unlucky 13 legendary haunted places to visit if you dare!

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Stockton villagers in Norfolk gain a grant of £1,000 to help fund new bus shelters on the A146 Norwich Road, as part of Calor’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Scole Nature Trail Trust is celebrating a grant of £1,000 to help fund new facilities as part of the rural energy provider’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Cobbled roads, rural pathways and coastal walks, Norfolk has a plethora of streets that are a pleasure to explore. Here we have collected just eight of the pretty streets in Nelson’s County

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

We all know how to pronounce it properly. (Think win and you’re a winner, think why and you’re not.) But did you know all these winning facts about Wymondham?

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Norfolk Ramblers guide us on a beautiful autumnal walk around Blickling Hall, near Aylsham

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The landscape designer who nurtured some of Norfolk’s grandest gardens is the star of a beautiful new book

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Do you know your Bawdseys from your Blakeneys and your Cromers from your Covehithes? Take our quiz to test your knowledge of the Suffolk and Norfolk coast!

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

An ancient castle and a massive mill are two of the highlights on this walk with Norfolk Ramblers

Read more
September 2018
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Golden sands, silver darlings, candyfloss and rock, festival fun, white-knuckle thrills and a heady cocktail of sun, sea and history are just some of the great things about Yarmouth

Read more
September 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search