The Royal Albert Hall is iconic and has at the heart of its mission bringing life-enriching, unforgettable experiences to all. They hold 390 events in the main auditorium each year, 867 events beyond the main stage and they issue more than 1.66 million tickets annually. Within this, over 195,000 participants are reached through Education & Outreach work.
Part of this outreach work included a concert suitable for children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities as well as individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and partially sighted.
Presented by conductor Grant Llewellyn and musician Andy Pidcock, the first ever BBC Relaxed Prom was a fun and interactive musical experience in a welcoming environment, with plenty of opportunities for participation.
During the concert there was a relaxed attitude to movement and noise in the auditorium. (There were over 80 musicians in the orchestra alone, so it was loud!) Participants were encouraged to move about, dance, sing or just listen. ‘Chill-out’ spaces outside the auditorium were also available.
Produced in collaboration with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Royal Albert Hall Education & Outreach, the BBC Relaxed Prom featured picture communication systems projected onto large screens, as well as audio description and British Sign Language interpretation.
Flo Schroeder, Education & Outreach Manager for the Royal Albert Hall, told us how terptree got involved with this exciting event, the first of its kind they had ever run.
“Before we embarked on the project, a colleague of mine was contacted by terptree regarding the communication support they can provide, so when we were looking for someone to help us with the BSL interpretation support for the event, everything fell into place.
Part of the content of the BBC prom had already been interpreted into BSL, and we needed interpreters for the event itself, so terptree’s contact came exactly at the right time.”
Flo said that not only did terptree provide four interpreters for the event, but Victoria Williams, Founder of terptree, attended the initial meeting about the project to advise the Royal Albert Hall on the best way to market the event to all of the audience groups.
“Victoria was extremely helpful in working with us, she gave us ideas on things to consider in terms of the whole customer journey. This included everything from marketing the event to the deaf community, to ensuring the front of house was deaf friendly.”
Flo went on to say “As this was the first time we had carried out such a project, there was a steep learning curve for everyone involved in the project. Under Victoria’s expert guidance, we worked through each of the different phases of the customer journey and terptree definitely exceeded our expectations of the support we had commissioned for the prom”.
When asked if the Royal Albert Hall would use terptree again, Flo whole-heartedly agreed. “If ever we run a similar event, we would definitely use terptree and we would recommend them to anyone one who was requiring support for performances and shows. The support we got from terptree was more than providing BSL interpretation for the event and everyone who came thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”