Freckle Productions to perform a purr-fect play

#Blogtober18: X-rays and broken bones

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“Tabby McTat was a busker’s cat with a miaow that was loud and strong…”

In Julia Donaldson’s feline tale McTat is purr-fectly happy singing all day long with his best friend Fred until one day Fred sustains an injury whilst chasing a thief and the two are separated.  Tabby finds new home comforts but soon misses his friend.

The cast of Tabby McTat. Photo Credit Robin Savage (3)

Fans of the rhyming story and those who don’t yet know whether they find each other again can enjoy a brand new stage adaptation of the book when Freckle Productions performs it at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln.

The show may be new but Freckle Productions has previously bought Donaldson’s creations to the stage with Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and say “Brought to life on stage with original songs and inventive puppetry, Tabby McTat is a heart-warming story of friendship and loyalty”.

The cast of Tabby McTat. Photo Credit Robin Savage (7) (1)“I have a very soft spot for Tabby McTat, perhaps because I used to be a busker myself, and also because I am a great cat-lover, says Julia Donaldson, “So I’m absolutely delighted that Freckle Productions are going to be dramatizing my story and I can’t wait to see it.”

Suitable for children and families of all ages, the show’s tour is coming to the city venue on November 4th at 1.30pm and 4.30pm and November 5th at 11am and 1.30pm.  Tickets are £14, under 2s free.

Find out more at www.TabbyMcTat.com or book tickets at www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk

Fortunately Fred recovers from his broken leg and bang to the head but he’s not the only one who’s incurred a hospital stay due to an accident.  For more stories on the theme of X-rays and broken bones click on the #Blogtober18 image below. 

#Blogtober18

 

Tale of treacherous travels is a theatrical treat

#Blogtober18: Ditty #NationalPoetryDay

“Stick Man lives in the family tree.
With his Stick Lady love and their stick children three.”

StickManTheatreJulia 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!

 

Is Stick Man being performed near you? Click here to find out.

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!

#Blogtober18

Autumn theatre season 2018

It’s not about panto yet – oh, no it isn’t!

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
HowToHideALionOctober 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
StickManTheatreSeptember 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
SpotAlienOctober 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
BingLiveOctober 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
ButteflieTFOctober 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
LandOfNodOctober 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
TinForestOctober 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/ 

Looking for some dramatic entertainment further north?  Click here to find out what Family Theatre at Northern Stage this October there is in Newcastle as highlighted by Debbie from My Boys Club.

Gentle tale of cavies, caterpillars and colourful change

CC2a“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.

The minis enjoyed watching the cuddly cavy in the company’s adaptation of Charlotte Middleton’s original title, Christopher Nibble, at the Terry O’Toole Theatre last year.

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.

CC1aThis 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.

CC3

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!

Find out more about the theatre’s children’s programme at http://terryotooletheatre.org.uk/childrens-theatre/

Looking for further caterpillar activity ideas?  Click on #30DaysWild Day 8 – Who’s been eating these leaves?

Peppa’s adventure proves great fun for all

#30DaysWild – Day 14

Peppa Pig's Adventure - cast(c) Dan Tsantilis

I can’t possibly start this review of Peppa Pig Live: Peppa Pig’s Adventure any way other than by saying how much my 17 month old loved it.

At previous shows we’ve taken her siblings to she’s often clapped along with the applause and enjoyed looking at all the lights but then either fed or slept through most of it.

In this morning’s production at the New Theatre Royal however, Faith was fully engaged throughout smiling, giggling, sat forward and focused on the stage, jiggling her body in excitement.

Including an interval it wasn’t a short show either but, as Willow’s first words 10 seconds after the curtain fell were “again, again”, it clearly thoroughly entertained my three year old too who was also a guest of the theatre.

And the delighted noises coming from the other mini audience members as their favourite characters came on stage for the first time in the show that encompasses a range of puppetry techniques meant they certainly weren’t alone in their enjoyment.

As well as Peppa, George, Pedro, Suzy and Gerald, the pre-school favourite was recreated faithfully through the bold colourful set and omniscient voice over.  Black-clad puppeteers maneuvered the smaller characters whilst Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig and Madame Gazelle could contain their actors inside the costumes.  They were joined by Daisy, a new girl starting at their school for her first day and joining them on their school camping trip.

There was, of course, plenty of opportunity for interaction and clapping, singing and dancing along which the young viewers took every advantage of.

Older audience members were equally charmed by the nighttime scene and the fireflies, bats and owls as well as the fun torchlight shadow play.

Water sprays added a delightful 4d theatre experience as a rain shower allowed Peppa and her friends to indulge in their love of jumping in muddy puddles.

I’ve already had several requests to “see show again” but next time can we have Danny Dog and Candy Cat too please?

Find out where else Peppa is performing at Peppa Pig Live!

The next children’s theatre show coming up at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln is Dinosaur World Live, June 22nd-24th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_14

30DAYSWILD_ID2 lightgreenThe logistics of the day mean that Peppa and Daisy’s song about enjoying the great outdoors and the characters delight in their camping trip was our #30DaysWild activity of the day and it certainly fuelled my 3 year old’s desire to sleep under canvas again soon. 

Peppa Pig Live!

Peppa Pig and her friends are bringing their new live show to Lincoln next month.

Appearing at the New Theatre Royal, the celebrity sow will be starring in Peppa Pig’s Adventure on June 13th and 14th, 2018.

Children’s theatre team Fiery Light promise there will be lots of songs and heaps of fun alongside Peppa’s exciting trip to the woods with George and her school friends including Pedro Pont, Suzy Sheep and Gerald.

Listening to the rain on canvas whilst they’re safe and warm inside their tents, the excited group look forward to morning when there will be lots of muddy puddles to play in.

With interactive fun, songs and games, the show is recommended for pre-schoolers aged 3+. 

On Wednesday, June 13th, shows are at 1pm and 4pm and on Thursday, June 14th, shows are at 10am and 1pm.  Adult tickets are £18, under 16s are £16 and family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) are £64.

Find out more at www.peppapiglive.com or New Theatre Royal or call 01522 519999.

Festive fun in the fairytale forest

Robin-Hood-BannerIn the midst of Lincoln’s seasonal theatrical offerings, the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre has carved out its niche by offering a winter show rather than a traditional pantomime.

Robin Hood and Maid Marian – Winter in Sherwood is 2017’s production by The Lincoln Company made up of Lincoln School of Performing Arts students.  It’s a perfect pick for the year of the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest and we were delighted to be guests of the arts centre for its opening night on Tuesday.

Littered with eclectic cultural references, it earns its age 6+ recommendation with its use of heightened language but there was still plenty for my younger minis to enjoy too.

Strong heroes, tomfoolery and hijinks with a pair of gormless guards and the dubious allegiances of some wandering minstrels, rousing songs to clap along to, a repetitive strain to join in with that saw my three year old drawing back her bow, a few flash bangs, a pretty smattering of snow, a boo-able baddie and alternative staging with the audience sitting on three sides of the action proved very engaging to all who had come to watch.

Luke says his favourite bit was when Robin Hood was locked up in the castle with the sheriff’s two hapless knights, a comic scene that included all his three favourite characters and an impressive show of archery skill, and Willow was absolutely mesmerised by meeting the characters after the show who were very lovely with a couple of star struck mini theatre goers.

Winter in Sherwood is showing at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre until Sunday, December 24th and includes a relaxed performance on Friday, December 22nd.  Click here for further information.