Relaxed Motown What we've been up to this month: After months of preparation, we held our relaxed performance of Motown: the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre in January. This is the ninth of its kind that Mousetrap Theatre Projects has held, and it gives families and their young people with additional needs the opportunity to enjoy a theatre production in a bespoke, laid-back environment. Working with the Shaftesbury Theatre, we created a relaxed atmosphere through keeping the house lights lit during the show, as well as lowering the volume of the music and special effects. Importantly, we subsidised the cost of tickets to make them affordable for families, charging £3, £6 and £10 for children and £6, £12 and £20 for accompanying adults. Over 240 families and 340 young people with additional needs from 32 out of the 33 London boroughs attended the sold out performance, in what was an uplifting and emotional evening. The high point of the show was undoubtedly the audience’s participation during the song ‘Reach Out And Touch’, with Natalie Kassanga leading parents and children to lift and wave their hands in the air in time with the music. In addition to the performance, we held three pre-show workshops that were led by theatre practitioners, introducing young people to the themes, story and music of the production. After the show one parent wrote, “Thank you for making this possible and making me feel connected to the wider family with disabled loved ones - not a bat of an eyelid from anyone…Through your wonderful organisation I can; A, afford the theatre; and B, enjoy it in the true spirit of being ‘relaxed’. I am so grateful to you all to be able to give my daughter the opportunity to experience the theatre.” Motown the Musicalcast member Jay Perry, who plays the lead role of Berry Gordy, also posted on social media the next day: "Tonight at Motown we had a relaxed performance. This was the first of my career and I have to say it was one of the most special moments I've had on stage. Theatre should be accessible to everyone and getting to witness the joy that music and dance can bring to SEND children was truly a privilege. Thank you Mousetrap Theatre Projects."