The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Equality have announced that there will be an additional performance at this year’s Gibraltar International Magic Festival and this will be a sensory-friendly magic show which will take place on Saturday 25th November at 1.30 pm.

This performance has been specifically designed for adults and families with children with autism or other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities. The performance, although sensory friendly, is not exclusive to people with disabilities and as such is open to the general public.

Some of the adaptations that have been made to this performance and to the theatre environment for this production:

  • Performance will be 1 hour instead of 2
  • Patrons will have an opportunity to visit the theatre as from 11am for familiarisation and to request the reserve of specific seats if so required.
  • “Buffer seats” will be available between groups to ensure that there is enough personal space.
  • Performance will be under a judgment-free environment where patrons can feel free to vocalise and/or move around the theatre if they need. This will be permitted throughout the auditorium except on stage for health and safety reasons.
  • Perimeter lights and floor lights will be on during the performance.
  • No flashing lights or strobes.
  • Soft colour light changes.
  • No black out.
  • No smoke or haze.
  • Provision of a quiet “safe haven/chill-out space” outside the auditorium for patrons who become overstimulated and need to take a break.

This is a further initiative that follows on from other recent ones undertaken jointly by the Ministries of Culture and Equality such as the popular Inclusive Cinema Screenings at the Leisure Cinema and the sensory adaptations and the overwhelmingly successful Easy Access Pass at the Gibraltar Fair 2017.

Jordan Lopez, Director of GibMedia attended the training and awareness seminar on making public events inclusive which was delivered by Attitude is Everything and organised by the Ministry of Equality earlier this year. Having learnt the importance of making events inclusive to people with disabilities and how to do so, he was inspired and wanted to make the Magic Festival inclusive. He contacted the Ministry of Equality to discuss various ideas for a sensory-friendly performance and in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture it will now be a reality.

The Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “I am absolutely delighted at yet another partnership with the private sector and a drive to make events more inclusive to everyone with disabilities, particularly since this initiative has come about as a result of a training seminar that was offered by my Department of Equality earlier in the year. Being inclusive of people with disabilities is not just about providing access to premises to individuals with physical disabilities or reduced mobility, it is also about welcoming those with sensory or learning disabilities to an environment where they feel comfortable.

“We know that for people with sensory sensitivity attending a live production can be a minefield of potential issues. Unexpected sounds and an unfamiliar setting can easily become overwhelming. We hope that with the new sensory adaptations, people who were not comfortable in attending previously for different reasons will now find the environment and performance more welcoming and therefore easier to attend. The adaptations will be particularly beneficial for people with autism, photosensitive epilepsy, visual impairments and hearing impairments.

The collaboration between the Ministry of Equality, Mistry of Culture and GibMedia is a perfect example of private sector and public sector working together towards a common objective of an inclusive society. It is a demonstration of people’s commitment to be an inclusive, supportive community. I must therefore publicly thank GibMedia and my Ministry for working together for the purposes of having a theatrical magic experience for all patrons”.

The Minister for Culture, the Hon Stephen Linares MP, said: “Not only am I extremely happy to see how the Gibraltar International Magic Festival is growing as another high quality production in our cultural and social calendar is growing, but by making it inclusive to those with sensory issues, it takes this festival and the principle of inclusion to a whole new level. This initiative and the adjustments introduced will remove overstimulation and create a welcoming and comfortable place for all. I am proud that the Ministry of Culture’s collaboration with our colleagues in the Ministry of Equality, and with the private sector, this time through GibMedia, will make this happen".

Tickets are £6.00 and further information is available online at www.magic.gi