Dickens says relax!

'A Christmas Carol' by The National Theatre of Scotland, in conjunction with On at Fife runs at the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy this December.
'A Christmas Carol' by The National Theatre of Scotland, in conjunction with On at Fife runs at the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy this December.

A SPECIAL production of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ comes to Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk next week.

And the National Theatre of Scotland five-star festive production will also host Scotland’s first ever autism friendly Christmas show.

The ground-breaking event is on Sunday, December 16 - in the middle of a pre-Christmas run which is already selling fast.

The one-off performance of the Dickens; classic has been welcomed byRobert Moffat, national director of the National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland.

He said “Many of our supporters, who are people with autism and their families tell us they are keen to celebrate Christmas with fun activities, but they can struggle to access mainstream entertainment venues.

“By making some simple adjustments to their performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’, the National Theatre of Scotland has given families affected by autism a brilliant opportuntiy to enjoy the same Christmas entertainment many people take for granted, in an atmosphere where they don’t risk being judged.

“We have campaigned vigorously over the past 12 months to encourage entertainment venues to become more accessible for people with autism, so we were delighted to be approached by them and to advise on this ground-breaking performance”

The ‘relaxed performance’ which can benefit a number of people including those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or sensory or communication disorder and their families, takes place on the afternoon of Sunday, December 16.


Thelma Fyfe, co-ordinator of Fife Action on Autism, said she hopes this is just the beginning and further autism-friendly approaches can be developed adding: “It’s particularly brilliant that the National Theatre of Scotland is letting families see behind the scenes before the performance.

“People with autism rely so much on predictable routines to help them make sense of a confusing world. This will really re-assure someone with autism and help make this fun day out run much more smoothly.”

Marianne Maxwell, audience development manager at the National Theatre, said: “We are always keen to explore new ways to welcome new audiences to our work.”

There will also be a BSL interpreted performance on December 23.

The NTS brings Dickens’ classic Christmas fable of Ebenezer Scrooge to life for contemporary audiences with sinister life-size puppets and live music in the stunning setting of the Old Kirk - another first for the 800-year place of worship.

The spooky and original reimagining, adapted, directed and designed by Graham McLaren, is recommended for those aged eight and over.

>> For more information about the ‘relaxed performance’ on contact Marianne Maxwell on (0141) 227 9017.

>> ‘A Christmas Carol’ runs from Friday, December 7 to Sunday, December 30.

To book tickets for all dates visit www.onfife.com or call (01592) 611101.