“Stick Man lives in the family tree. With his Stick Lady love and their stick children three.”
Julia Donaldson’s perilous tale of a morning’s jog gone wrong leapt off the page on to the stage – and around the auditorium – to the delight of a rapt young audience.
Performed by Scamp Theatre at the Lincoln Drill Hall as part of the Lincoln Book Festival at the end of September, Stick Man saw the author’s rhythmic verse brought to life with inventive staging, puppetry and live music in a mix of styles with the space for the child’s own imagination to join in too.
My six year old enjoyed the chase scene around the auditorium as park warden followed dog followed Stick Man and loved the beach ball being thrown through the audience too and my three year old was thoroughly caught up in the drama of Stick Man’s every increasingly hazardous travels that include him being mistaken for a flag pole, a sword and kindling among many other things.
Advertised as “most suitable for children aged 3+ with their friends and families” I wasn’t sure the more darkly lit than most children’s theatre show would capture the attention of my one year old but she loved the sparkly light effects of the underwater and wintry scenes.
Today is National Poetry Day and the theme this year is Change which the tale of Stick Man certainly embodies so, if you have a copy of the rhyming story at home already, it would make perfect bedtime reading tonight!
Would you like to see more Julia Donaldson tales adapted for the stage?
Tall Stories will present The Snail and the Whale at the LPAC in Lincoln on Thursday, October 25th.
Freckle Productions will perform Tabby McTat at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln on November 4th and 5th.
Has this traumatic celebration of the numerous ways a stick could be used fuelled your desire to go on a collecting spree on a walk through some trees? My previous posts: Stick Inspiration The Stick Book
might give you further inspiration on what your woody haul can be magically transformed into – just make sure they’re just sticks and not Stick Men!
A new website encouraging people to visit Lincolnshire launched today, helping to celebrate Lincolnshire Day (October 1st). Visit Lincoln, the city’s “official Destination Management Organisation” tells us more…
Created by the award-winning tourism team at Visit Lincoln and local marketing agency The Energy Cell, the county website – www.visitlincolnshire.com – has been designed to inspire new visitors to Lincolnshire with striking photos, videos and experiences.
“As experts in tourism we have used the expertise and knowledge of the team to promote Lincolnshire alongside the city,” said Lydia Rusling, Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln Community Interest Company. “We were able to use research into visitor trends with quality visitor experiences to present an inspirational microsite, which aims to boost the visitor economy and increase the performance of the area’s businesses.
“Tourism is a competitive industry and we had to ensure Lincolnshire’s reputation as a place to visit continues to grow. It is essential visitors have a responsive and inspirational website to help them plan a trip to Lincolnshire – the internet is the first port of call for the tourism industry.”
To attract new visitors to the county the website showcases three appealing destinations of Lincolnshire – city, countryside and coast. An interactive map enables visitors to familiarise themselves with the highlights whilst inspiration and experiences are featured across culture, entertainment, heritage, family fun, sport, shopping and the great outdoors.
Talking about the design of the website, Joel Murray digital marketing manager at Visit Lincoln said: “The website has been designed and built to inspire and signpost to a wealth of information across Lincolnshire, helping visitors plan their visit. We are not duplicating content that already exists, but instead providing an inspirational overview of what the county has to offer on one helpful site.”
Lincolnshire County Council is committed to the development of the tourism industry across Greater Lincolnshire, and working with the county’s local authorities, have supported Visit Lincoln with the creation of a new website to showcase Lincolnshire.
“The design of the new website has been entirely driven by the results of the recent research we commissioned,” said Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development Lincolnshire County Council “This gives us a very clear picture of what is needed to attract visitors to Lincolnshire and the website reflects that.”
The website development has been supported by Lincolnshire County Council, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, North Lincolnshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, West Lindsey District Council, East Lindsey District Council, North Kesteven District Council, South Kesteven District Council, South Holland Council, Boston Borough Council and Lincoln City Council.
The minis enjoyed a dramatic afternoon on Saturday watching the opening show in the Terry O’Toole Theatre’s autumn/winter season, Christopher’s Caterpillars, and there’s plenty more family-friendly stage shows to look forward to ahead of the annual refrains of pantomime and winter offerings. Here are some of what young audiences can look forward to in and around Lincolnshire in the next few months.
Embassy Theatre, Skegness October 21 – Milkshake! Live: Starring Milkshake! favourites Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, Shimmer & Shine, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Winnie and Wilbur and more.
Call 01507 613100 or visit https://embassytheatre.co.uk/whats-on/
Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham October 9 – How to Hide a Lion: Pigtails Productions, Polka Theatre and Oxford Playhouse present an adaptation of Helen Stephens’s book. October 20 – Monstersaurus: Big Wooden Horse present this adaptation of Claire Freedman and Ben Cort’s book featuring young inventor Monty.
Call 01476 406158 or visit http://guildhallartscentre.com/
Lincoln Drill Hall September 28th-29th – Stick Man: Part of Lincoln Book Festival, Scamp Theatre present their adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s tale of a perilous journey home to the family tree. October 10 – How to Hide a Lion: Pigtails Productions, Polka Theatre and Oxford Playhouse present an adaptation of Helen Stephens’s book. October 28 – A Frog Called Woanda: Laura and her frog friend Woanda search for a lost ring through a whirlwind of twists and turns that combine dreams with reality, laughter with tears, fears with friendship.
Call 01522 873894 or visit www.lincolndrillhall.com
Louth Riverhead Theatre October 25 – Stories on a String: Presented by Dotted Line Theatre and Polyglot Arts, Stories on a String brings the mysteries of the Amazon jungle to life through live Brazilian music, songs and puppetry, for ages 6+. Call 01507 600350 or visit https://louthriverheadtheatre.com/
LPAC, Lincoln October 6 – How to Spot an Alien: What do you do if you think your aunt is an alien? 12 year old Jelly and her cousin JonJo have their suspicions. October 21 – The Nutcracker: In this classical ballet Clara and the Nutcracker combat the Mouse King and join the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier on a wonderful journey through the glistening Land of Snow to a kingdom made entirely of sweets. October 25 – The Snail and the Whale: Tall Stories presents Julia Donaldson’s tale of wanderlust and friendship. Call 01522 837600 or visit https://lpac.co.uk/
Newark Palace Theatre September 30th – Milkshake! Live: Starring Milkshake! favourites Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, Shimmer & Shine, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Winnie and Wilbur and more. October 29th – Tabby McTat: From the book by Julia Donaldson, Tabby McTat is a cat with the loudest of meee-ews and a best friend with a guitar. Call 01636 655755 or visit www.palacenewarktickets.com
New Theatre Royal, Lincoln October 13th-14th – Bing Live: Join Bing, Sula, Coco and Pando as they find out how to tell stories by pretending, dressing-up and singing songs.
November 4th-5th – Tabby McTat: From the book by Julia Donaldson, Tabby McTat is a cat with the loudest of meee-ews and a best friend with a guitar. Call 01522 519999 or visit www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk
Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe October 27th – Crafty’s Halloween Spooktacular: Come in your scariest Halloween costume and help Sally the Scarecrow solve the mystery of the ghostly goings-on and discover who has stolen the golden pumpkin.
Call 0844 8542776 or visit www.scunthorpetheatres.co.uk
South Holland Centre, Spalding October 24 – Butterflies: Tangled Feet and Half Moon present this tale of three friends who embark on an exciting adventure to chase their butterflies away. They cross new seas to unchartered lands, on a journey filled with discovery. The only trouble is, they are all a bit worried about it. What if they get wet? What if they make a new friend? What if they don’t? November 17 – The Suitcase Kid: Act II Theatre Company present this adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s book following the story of 10-year-old Andy whose parents have just divorced.
Call 01775 764777 or visit www.southhollandcentre.co.uk
Stamford Arts Centre October 18 – A Frog Called Woanda: Told through live action, puppetry, music and shadows, this is a funny and touching story of love, loss and friendship. Performed n simple French for ages 6-10 years. October 20 – Land of Nod: Moon on a Stick Productions blend puppetry, captivating storytelling and an enchanting musical score in this starlight adventure. November 1-3 – Goodnight Mister Tom The Musical: College Players present this adaptation of the award-winning book by Michelle Magorian following the life of an evacuee.
Call 01780 760203 or visit http://stamfordartscentre.com/
Terry O’Toole Theatre, North Hykeham, Lincoln October 20th – Tom Thumb: CBeebies presenter Patrick Lynch presents a beautifully crafted and imaginative re-telling of the fairytale. November 17th – The Tin Forest: An uplifting, humorous and touching show featuring puppetry and musical fun, with mechanical birds, live music, a wind-up circus and exotic animals of all shapes and sizes.
Call 01522 883311 or visit http://terryotooletheatre.org.uk/childrens-theatre/
“They’re so wriggly, they make me giggly and I want to do a wiggly dance” – there’s not many pets that you can say, or sing, this about but caterpillars fit the bill.
Which is probably a good thing as the larvae are a very good-sized pet for a guinea pig rather than the dog, cat or elephant alternatives Topsy Turvy Theatre sing about in one of the opening numbers of their show Christopher’s Caterpillars.
We discovered and took home two further adventures of the eponymous hero for bedtime reading that afternoon so were delighted to discover they were bringing one of the sequels back to the North Hykeham theatre today.
This time Dandeville’s foremost dandelion-growing football player discovers some colourful crawlers in his herb garden and, along with his friend Posie, decides to adopt them.
With the help of cafe owner Mr Rosetti they learn how to care for them and, using some handy imaginary magnifying glasses, the audience gets to watch their progress too – until one day they disappear…
The pair then set out to solve the minibeast mystery, creating some beautiful artwork along the way.
It was no mystery to the very clever audience of course as it seems Luke isn’t the only one to have studied the life cycle of a butterfly at school but the young theatre-goers were persuaded to let the furry friends find out for themselves and their foreknowledge didn’t dampen their delight in the flight the curly charges took following their final transformation.
The gentle tale was interjected with fun, interactive songs that gave the children opportunities to get up and move and the only dampening of the audience came from the water sprays overshoot when Christopher’s friends were watering the plants, growing more excitable reactions. With the chance to meet the main guinea pig himself and shake him by the paw after the show there’s definitely a few more Nibble fans in Lincoln now.
Hopefully Topsy Turvy Theatre will be back next year with the recycling fun of Christopher’s Bicycle!
When I was getting upset at seeing all the back to school shop displays at the end of August I turned the corner of an aisle and came face to face with several shelves full of grimacing pumpkins and the thought of Halloween also looming on the calendar left me with a big grin on my face too.
Last year’s Halloween was definitely a cause for celebration in the Malpi household as Faith returned home from hospital following her heart operation just in time to join in the festivities but we’re definitely hoping this year’s run up to trick or treat time will be slightly less stressful.
If you’re looking for activities that are more fun than fearful, there are plenty on offer in Lincolnshire and just across the county border to keep your mini monsters amused.
As always – some events need advance booking, there are only so many pumpkins in a pumpkin patch and, of course, all live (and undead) events are subject to change so be sure to click on the links to check the details and phone/book before travelling.
Do you know of an event we’ve missed? Tell us about it in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to keep checking back in case we’ve found more.
Family activities at the National Civil War Centre
Are your mini marauders are already running out of ways to keep themselves busy just one week into the holidays?
Then why not send any sparring siblings to the National Civil War Centre where they can properly hone their skills of devious deception this summer?
The Newark museum’s family activities programme starts today and includes performances full of pretence and cunning craftiness all on an intriguing espionage theme.
Invited to the launch of Summer of Spies earlier this month, our mini mischief makers were immediately absorbed in a task to search for 10 gold coins hidden around the Appletongate venue’s courtyard area. Their swag could then be swapped for the chance to fire a cannon. They obviously felt this well rewarded their efforts as they insisted on repeating the task numerous times.
But when we were finally able to prise them away from their quest for bounty they discovered lots of other ways to become duplicitous detectives.
Apprentice secret agents had the chance to learn the science behind their subterfuge by making periscopes to see round corners, cracking codes and writing messages in invisible ink.
But it’s not just ciphers that need to be secret, identities do too, and the chance to create their own disguises was the choice they made that quickly filled up the rest of their time at the evening event.
Just like last year, the minis loved sampling all the hands on activities that will featured at the centre at different stages of its Summer of Spies but the thing that impressed mummy the most were the friendly, thoughtful and helpful staff who didn’t bat an eyelid at our slightly delayed, divided and disheveled arrival but simply concentrated on getting the minis having fun straightaway.
Summer of Spies runs from July 28th to September 2nd and the centre is offering 20% off admission for families with at least one paying child during this time.
Family Craft Activities: July 28 – August 5: Seventeenth Century Spy Kit August 6 – August 12: Locked Letters and Secret Seals August 13 – August 19:Cloak and Dagger August 20 – August 26: Hide and Seek August 27 – September 2: How To Be Invisible
Performancesby either Aphra Behn: Mistress of All Trades or The Anonymous Spy take place every day (except Sundays) at 11am, noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
We were very grateful to whoever decided to put their play area in the woodland’s shade but it was in the sun-soaked garden and meadow of the “18th-century architectural masterpiece” that so many different textures caught my eye.