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Relaxed Performances

Relaxed Performances

Relaxed Performances


Cork Opera House is delighted to present Relaxed Performances of our annual winter Panto. These relaxed shows are very important to our staff and community, and we look forward to welcoming families back to our house for these performances each Christmas.

Tickets can be purchased over the phone or in-person, and our Box Office staff will be able to find you a seat that’s most suitable for you. Whether you prefer to be near the door or in the front row, if you need space for your service dog, if you’d like lots of space to move around or if you’d like to sit with a large group – we will talk to you and find the best seat in the house for you.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch – we’d be delighted to hear from you.


What to Expect at a Relaxed Performance


A Relaxed Performance is a version of a show in which a lot of the elements are adjusted to be more comfortable for autistic people or people with sensory processing differences. Our aim is to create a judgement-free and fun experience for all the family.


What if I have never been to Cork Opera House before?

  • We send a Visual Guide & Informational Video to all audience members that provide their email ahead of the show.
  • The Visual Guide contains information about accessing our building, what to expect throughout your visit (from our Front-of-House to Box Office, to inside the theatre), information about the show, the story, and the characters, and much more.
  • We open extra early before the show begins for families or groups that wish to arrive early and take time to become comfortable with the venue and surroundings.
  • At the beginning of the show, our MC will welcome everyone and give an introduction.


What if I am sensitive to loud noises, lots of bright lights, or certain smells?

  • Our technical team adjust the sound and lighting to reduce sensory stimuli and make the performance more comfortable for autistic children.
  • We encourage parents to bring their children’s ear defenders, however, we will also have some onsite for anyone that may need them.
  • The house lights in the theatre will remain on at a low level throughout the performance, so that audience members can see their way around if they need to move.
  • The hand dryers in the bathrooms will be turned off for the duration of the show.
  • Soap dispensers in the bathrooms will contain soap that has a natural scent.


What if I have never been to a theatre before? What should I expect?

  • The theatre will be a space where children can move around, make noise and enjoy themselves during the performance. We have reduced our capacity to 60% for these shows to make this a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone.
  • The show will have two acts, with an interval in between. This interval will be twenty minutes long, and families are welcome to leave or remain in the theatre during this time.
  • If a child needs to leave the theatre during the show, that’s no problem. We will have areas where children can relax during the show in our bar spaces. People will be permitted to re-enter the theatre at any time during the show.


Can I bring my service dog or sensory toys?

  • Sensory safe tools are permitted in the theatre, including (but not limited to) fidget spinners and sensory toys.
  • Service dogs are also welcome to come see the show. All dogs must remain with a handler for the duration of the show. We will have water stations available for dogs on site.


Informational Video

One of our Panto cast, Thérèse O’Sullivan (who plays Fairy T in Jack and the Beanstalk) explains to families attending our relaxed performances what they can expect from this specially-crafted production.

Check out the video below.