Photograph of the MAC's downstairs theatre, lit and ready for a relaxed performance of Rumpelstiltskin in 2015.

Ensuring everyone experiences a magical Christmas at the MAC, we developed 'MACtile Tours'.


We want to give the gift of theatre to all children including those with additional needs. MACtile Tours is centred on our commitment to working with families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The MACtile Tours outreach project was launched in October 2015, and saw specially-trained MAC staff travel to participating schools across Northern Ireland with our ‘Theatre in the Box’.

The tactile box has been designed to take the fear out of a first-time visit to the theatre. It contains visual aids to help children know what to expect when they visit the MAC for the first time.

MACtile Tours is supported by:

Who is it for?

MACtile Tours is centered on our commitment to working with families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

We work with schools and community groups across Northern Ireland ahead of their visit to the MAC.  Last year, almost 1020 school children and young people took part in MACtile tours, and we hope to expand on that for our 2018 festive show.

How it works

A MACtile Tour starts with a preparation workshop in your classroom, which gives children everything they need to prepare them for a visit to the MAC.

Our specially trained staff will visit your school or community group with our special ‘Theatre in a Box’ that contains a replica model of the MAC theatre, along with tactile and visual aids to help children gain an understanding of what a theatre is, what actors do and what to expect from their first visit.

The next step is that your school will visit the MAC at Christmas to attend a relaxed performance of our Christmas show. The accredited Autism Awareness staff at the MAC will be on hand for the whole visit, and we have a dedicated quiet room that children can visit at any point during the show to take some time. They won't miss out on the show as we show it on a screen in the family room at low volume. 

Relaxed performances are specifically designed to welcome people with a learning disability, Down’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Condition or sensory and communication disorders. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement and some small changes made to the light and sound effects. An easy way to understand the atmosphere is perhaps, 'the opposite of the quiet carriage on the train'.


Our MACtile workshops are free for schools and community groups who are booking tickets for our Christmas show.

For information on how to book a MACtile workshop & visit for your class, contact our Learning & Participation officer Clare Lawlor.

How to Book

MACtile tours are ongoing in 2017.

To apply to take part in our MACtile programme, simply download a booking form and email it to

Clare Lawlor, stating in your email that you are interested in taking part in the MACtile programme.

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