As Knit as a Twiddle - Local knitters support our relaxed performance

Posted on 7 December 2018

With 2019 now just around the corner, preparation is underway for our relaxed performance of Sleeping Beauty, taking place on Thursday 3 January.

A relaxed performance is specially designed to provide an open and welcoming environment for audience members who may enjoy, or benefit from, a more laid-back performance style, including those with Autism Spectrum Conditions, sensory and communication disorders, learning disabilities, dementia, or other conditions.

Nanny McWheeze & Muddles with twiddle muff

Ahead of the show, we issued a call-out for local knitters to make and donate twiddle muffs for the performance – sensory aids made with bobbles, buttons and attachments that can be soothing for some people, and help to occupy restless hands.

Since the initial call-out on 24 October, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response. So far we’ve received a total of 60 twiddle muffs from people generously donating their time and wool to help us make sure that everyone has a chance to enjoy the magic of our panto this Christmas.

Nanny McWheeze & knitters

As a thank you, we invited all the knitters who expressed an interest in the initiative to join us for mince pies, tea and coffee, and a chance to meet the Sleeping Beauty cast at a festive “knit-in” at the theatre.

Attendees included the members of a new knitting and needlework group, A Stitch in Time, which will be meeting regularly at the theatre from 10 January. Sessions will be free to attend, and will run from 1-3pm every Thursday. Those interested in getting involved can find out more from A Stitch in Time – Needlework for Wellbeing on Facebook, or simply show up on the day.

Princess Belle and knitter

The knit-in was a huge success, with Princess Belle (Melissa Brown-Taylor), enjoying an impromptu lesson from one eager knitter ready to share her purls of wisdom. Luckily, the yarn was all pre-prepared, so there wasn’t a spinning wheel in sight!

Azurial and Carabosse knitting

Fairy sisters Azuriel (Anna Mitcham) and Carabosse (Laura Judge) also tried their hand at a spot of knitting – with varying degrees of success, as you can see from Carabosse’s knitted brow….

King Hugo inspects a twiddle muff

King Hugo (Declan Wilson) seemed particularly impressed with the quality of the finished twiddle muffs, while Nanny McWheeze (Iain Lauchlan) spent much of her time telling the knitters a few ripping yarns of her own. There was no knit-picking to be seen here, as the quality of all of the twiddle muffs we’ve received have been of the highest quality.

Nanny McWheeze chats to the knitters

Meanwhile, our resident knit-wit Muddles the Jester found an enormous twiddle muff that he thought might just about be big enough for him to fit inside…

Muddles and a giant twiddle muff

…turns out, he’d really had the wool pulled over his eyes!

Muddles tries the giant twiddle muff on for size

Don’t get caught wool-gathering when our relaxed performance of Sleeping Beauty arrives at 2pm on Thursday 3 January 2019. More information and tickets are available here.