Belgrade to host public knit-in for relaxed pantomime performance

Volunteers are being sought to get involved and stitch sensory aids for a relaxed performance of Puss in Boots.

Local knitters are being called upon to lend their skills ahead of a special performance of Puss in Boots taking place at the Belgrade Theatre in January.

Last year, crafty Coventrians came together for the Belgrade’s first-ever festive knit-in, creating sensory aids known as twiddle muffs, which were donated to audience members at its relaxed performance of Sleeping Beauty.

The event was a tremendous success with supporters from across Coventry and Warwickshire getting into the Christmas spirit, by giving up their time and yarn to help.

This year, the Belgrade hopes to replicate that success with an all-day public knit-in from 11:00-19:00 on Thursday, 19 December, ahead of its relaxed performance of Puss in Boots on Thursday, 9 January. 

Specially adapted to provide an open and welcoming environment for all, relaxed performances are aimed at those who prefer a more laid-back theatre experience with the freedom to move around and make noise, including those with Autistic Spectrum conditions, sensory and communication disorders, learning disabilities and dementia.

Changes made include slight alterations to sound and lighting, additional staff members on hand to support, and a ‘chill-out zone’ where people can go if they feel they need to take a break from the show.

Made with sensory attachments such as bobbles and buttons, a twiddle muff is a soft, therapeutic aid which can help to minimise anxiety and/or provide stimulation for restless hands, enabling people with certain conditions to relax and enjoy the pantomime more fully.

Supporting this year’s knit-in will be the Belgrade’s resident Craft On – Needlework for Wellbeing group, who will be bringing along a selection of ready-made muffs, meaning that even less confident knitters or those with less time to spare can still join in by helping to stitch on the attachments. 

The knit-in will be held in the Belgrade Theatre’s Burbidge Room on Thursday, 19 December, with those interested in taking part invited to drop in from 11:00-19:00.

For more information or to express your interest in attending, please contact hkincaid@belgrade.co.uk or call 024 7684 6702.

Puss in Boots is now showing at the Belgrade Theatre until Saturday, 11 January. Tickets are available to book by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or visiting belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.