Relaxed Performances

Relaxed performances are for everyone, and they may benefit those who might normally find it challenging to access theatre.

7 Dec–4 Apr 2023

Relaxed performances are for everyone, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment which can be enjoyed by all. During these performances, we have a laid-back approach to noise and movement coming from the audience, permitting and encouraging everyone to relax and respond naturally.

‘It was great to hear people just being themselves, without worrying about consequences’

‘The relaxed performance allowed my children to enjoy something new, be themselves, educate them and treat them to something not so expensive, affordable, educational, enjoyable and inclusive.’

Who are they for?

Relaxed performances are open to everybody.

You may choose to attend a relaxed performance because you prefer the inclusive environment, or because of an access requirement, which might include anyone with dementia, learning disabilities, an autistic spectrum condition, Tourette’s syndrome, sensory disorders, anxiety, bladder and bowel conditions, and those with young children or babies.

‘I was scared to take my son who loves opera to an opera – this has shown me that he will be fine and love it and just as importantly he can attend non-relaxed performances as he did so well at it.’

What to expect at an ENO Relaxed Performance:

What’s different:

  • Open-door policy: you can leave your seat and the auditorium as much as you like throughout the performance as we keep the house lights up.
  • Making noise during the performance is permitted, and encouraged.
  • We remove any significant sudden loud sound effects or flashing lights.
  • Auditorium doors open much earlier.
  • Dedicated ‘chill-out space’ front of house, plus an alternative space to watch the performance on a screen in the foyer.
  • Additional friendly members of staff to help and support your visit.
  • Visual Story and Sonic Story resources, available online and printed copies on-the-day.
  • You will meet the orchestra before the show starts and hear the sections play.

Example of a Visual Story

Example of a Sonic Story

All performances at the ENO are performed in English (except Akhnaten) and captioned.

‘The information was very useful for providing preparation for what was going to happen in the show’

Our ENO Engage team will also provide sensory and learning pre-show activities, such as seeing and touching props and trying on costumes from past opera productions. There will also be photo opportunities – you may even see some special appearances from performers in the show.

‘Fantastic pre-performance activities, and a very friendly environment.’


We have three Relaxed performances in our 2022/23 Season:

  • The Yeomen of the Guard – Saturday 12 November 2022, 14.30
  • It’s a Wonderful Life – Wednesday 7 December 2022, 11.00
  • Akhnaten – Tuesday 4 April 2023, 14.30


About The Yeomen of the Guard

The Tower of London is the scene for a tangled web of melancholy and mirth in Gilbert & Sullivan’s beloved operetta, The Yeomen of the Guard. The arrival of a travelling troupe of performers sparks forbidden romances, fantastical plots and unrequited love. 

A classic G&S tale ensues, with all the chaos that comes with it – but not necessarily the happy ending we expect from the duo…

The relaxed performance of The Yeomen of the Guard will take place on 12 November 2022 at 14.30.

Visual story


About It’s a Wonderful Life

Jake Heggie’s (Dead Man Walking, Moby Dick) operatic adaptation of the genre-defining Frank Capra film of the same name, It’s a Wonderful Life will transport you to the idyllic little town of Bedford Falls, where it’s a white Christmas – though not everything is merry and bright.

Down-on-his-luck banker George Bailey (Frederick Ballentine) feels like life has passed him by, so when his guardian angel (Danielle de Niece) pays him a visit, George is shown what life in his beloved Bedford Falls would be like without him in it: maybe it’d be a little less wonderful after all?

The relaxed performance of It’s a Wonderful Life will take place on 7 December 2022 at 11.00


About Akhnaten

Phelim McDermott’s Olivier Award-winning production of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten returns to the ENO, following sell-out runs at the London Coliseum and the Met Opera. 

A mesmerising spectacle, Akhnaten tells the story of one of the world’s most influential figures – the Pharaoh Akhnaten, the first Pharaoh to switch from worshipping a pantheon of gods to just one: the Sun. 

The relaxed performance of Akhnaten will take place on 4 April 2023 at 14.30

How do I book?

As part of our Under 21s scheme at ENO, all young people under 21 go FREE and adult tickets start from £15*.

Please book your opera tickets by submitting an online booking form. We will then contact you to confirm your booking and take payment.

Please provide all of the access needs for your party so we can make your visit as easy as possible.

*plus £2.25 booking fee per ticket.

Tickets available from £15

Language
Sung in English, with surtitles projected above the stage

For more information, please contact our box office on 020 7845 9300 or box.office@eno.org