The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) is the global leader in live theatre. I’m Learning Partnerships Manager for the Ambassador Theatre Group, within the Creative Learning & Access team.
We wanted to create resources for children and adults with learning disabilities to prepare for their visits to our theatres during the pantomime season; to build confidence prior to the theatre visit and provide an accessible way for customers to find out what to expect, in terms of the theatre going experience and the pantomime production itself.
We chose to work with Widgit following the example set by the English National Ballet symbol resources. We knew that the symbols would be a simple, clear way to communicate and would have the same creative, colourful impact as our pantomimes. We are confident that the symbols appeal to our customers, and we were impressed by the versatility of the Widgit designers and adaptability to our art form to make them really specific to our theatre experience.
The resources that Widgit developed for us were symbol synopses for ‘Going to the Theatre’ and two pantomime titles, with accompanying flashcards and communication cards.
Widgit symbols helped our clients by providing a new, unique way for customers with learning difficulties to engage with our venues and our productions.
Widgit are very efficient, communicative and reliable. The team bring creative ideas to our project and are a pleasure to work with.
We are delighted with the symbol resources. They are professional, engaging and attractive to our customers. Most impressive are the symbols which were created uniquely for our pantomimes, such as the character symbols, which help us to bring the pantomime to life for all our customers.
I would absolutely recommend Widgit to others in our industry, and to organisations from different fields!
Learning Partnerships Manager,
Ambassador Theatre Group
Our Access Champions received positive anecdotal feedback from customers about the symbol resources:
“There were lots of positive comments on the day about our signage around the building and the
use of symbols as well as text.
This assisted the visitors to understand where things were in the
venue, where they could purchase an ice-cream, water etc. It took some of the stress away from
parents/carers but it was also something the children recognised as soon as they came in the
building so immediately felt welcomed to the performance and at ease that we were considering their needs from the offset.”
Karin Read, Access Champion and Deputy General Manager, Richmond Theatre
“The main thing I would like to praise you on was the envelope I reviewed a couple of days ago
containing lots of communication aids as well as a social story to enable myself to communicate with
my individual about where we were going, what was going to happen and how he was expected to
In my opinion you have gone above and beyond to enable all individuals to enjoy this
pantomime. I hope the pack I was sent continues to be used and that relaxed viewings of the
pantomime continue every year as I would love to bring the individual I support again next year as
he really enjoyed today!”
Customer and carer, Bristol Hippodrome
“Schools are very positive about the symbols as it’s something common that they use within the
classroom and saves the teachers a job too, as they would normally prepare these materials/resources themselves.”
Anthony Hope, Access Champion & Creative Learning Assistant, Sunderland Empire