Peppa’s adventure proves great fun for all

#30DaysWild – Day 14

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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. 

Children’s arts opportunities put in the spotlight

From the regular visiting children’s theatre productions to the toys in its cafe area along with in house provisions such as the Diddy Disco, accessible changing facilities and a lovely warm welcome, the Lincoln Drill Hall has long been a favourite destination for young audience members.

And now the Free School Lane arts centre is making it even easier for those wanting to find out what’s on offer to enjoy alongside their children by launching a new family brochure.  Sales and communications manager Gavin Street explains why…

“Lincoln Drill Hall is a great place to introduce children to the arts.  The venue hosts a year-round programme of live shows, theatre groups, workshops and creative sessions specifically aimed at younger audiences – from tiny tots to teenagers – plus events the whole family can enjoy together.  And with the launch of a new seasonal family brochure, you can find it all in one place!

“So what’s coming up in the Spring?  Running through the season are the Happy Monday Club weekly creative play sessions for pre-schoolers, which includes sessions based on storytelling and drama, dance and movement, art and making and rhythm and music.  These sessions take place in the venue’s cafe bar on Monday mornings, 10.30am-11.30am.  On Wednesdays, the Drill Hall also hosts Hartbeeps, weekly musical adventure classes for newborns, babies and toddlers.

“Or for older children, why not Fishtank, the city’s alternative youth theatre, where the kids create their own original theatre pieces and then perform them in front of a real audience.  Drama skills, self-confidence, team-building and fun are guaranteed in these sessions for Tiddlers (ages 3-6), Juniors (ages 7-11) and Intermediates (ages 11-16).  Sessions run on Saturday mornings throughout the year.

“And rounding off the first half of the Spring, February half term is packed with events.  These include the first outing of the season of Diddy Disco (Tuesday 13 February), the venue’s hip dance club for under 7s and the interactive theatre adventure The Dead Sea (Wednesday 14 February), which follows a young marine biologist on an ecological rescue mission to the bottom of the ocean.  There’s also Rhubarb Theatre’s time-travelling Sidney’s Shed (Friday 16 February), which whisks young audiences on an exciting journey to dig up the past and weed out history’s bullies and Hiccup Theatre brings the classic story The Gingerbread Man (Saturday 17 February) to vivid life through amazing puppetry and fabulous live music.”

For more information about these and other events later in the season pick up a copy of the new Drill Hall Family brochure or read it online here.  For more about the venue visit www.lincolndrillhall.com (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

And don’t forget there’s still the pantomime to enjoy before the end of this year.  To find out more about Jack and the Beanstalk, showing from December 8th to January 2nd, click here.

 

Tale of Light Princess inspires little feet

For thousands of mini aspiring ballerinas it’s nice to be able to see where their weekly classes and donning of tutus could take them so I love that many ballet companies have been developing shows with a family audience in mind.

Earlier this year we treated the minis to a trip to Cast in Doncaster to see Northern Ballet perform Goldilocks & the Three Bears.  Despite mummy and daddy discussing at length (due to traffic jams) exactly how sensible it was to take longer to drive to and from somewhere than the event itself lasts (the show was about 40 minutes long), the minis had a fabulous time with Willow excitedly calling out “bear” every time one of the titular ursine characters took to the stage.

So I was very pleased when I found out that Lincoln’s LPAC was hosting Ballet Cymru’s The Light Princess last weekend and even more delighted to be guests of the arts centre for the family friendly 5pm performance.

The Light Princess by Ballet Cymru

Based on George MacDonald’s fairytale which was inspired by Sleeping Beauty, the new production is a full length ballet so the minis were required to sit for a lot longer which did see us finding a space to run around in during the interval to let some pent up energy out.

But, even though the tone for The Light Princess was much more melancholic and romantic than the three bears’ bumbling fun, the minis were quickly spellbound themselves by the spinning and leaping characters relating the magical tale of the floating heroine who finds her freedom under water and in true love.

IMG_5240I loved the atmospheric video projections that further enhanced the ethereal feel and the text captions/chapter heading storytelling elements interspersed throughout the show that also helped to transport the audience into their fairytale world.

(Although I am still waiting to see the aerial circus skills described in the promotional material – maybe it took place during our toilet trip?)

At the end of the show it became clear that the restless legs of the interval were actually simply inspired feet that had an undeniable desire to replicate what they were watching.

And this audience member was treated to a mini aftershow performance of pirouetting, kneeling, beautiful arm movements and leaping on and off the little stage in the foyer that only ended because the arts centre’s (very patient) staff really did need to be able to go home themselves too – a sure sign of the mini ones’ appreciation of the dancers of Ballet Cymru.

The LPAC has two winter shows suitable for a family audience coming soon – Winter in Sherwood and The Winter Whale.  Click here to find out more.

The Light Princess is still on tour.  Click here to see if it’s coming to a venue near you.

The Light Princess

STphoto-LP-AnnaUsing elements of circus and classical choreography, a new full length ballet taking the tale of Sleeping Beauty as its inspiration is being performed at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre this weekend.

Ballet Cymru’s The Light Princess tells the story of a princess afflicted by constant weightlessness, unable to get her feet on the ground, until she finds a love that brings her down to earth.

STphoto-LP-Beth RobbieFeaturing video projections and a new score by Welsh harpist, composer and recording artist Catrin Finch, The Light Princess was produced in collaboration with The Riverfront Theatre in Newport and continues Ballet Cymru’s work using powerful and timeless stories to challenge its dancers to interpret some of the finest characters in literature.

The Light Princess will be performed by Ballet Cymru at the LPAC in Lincoln on Sunday, November 19th at 5pm. Click here to find out more.

The BFG, Mr Men and a gecko’s echo…

Newark Book Festival 2017

Formerly known as Books in the Castle, this year’s Newark Book Festival (July 15th and 16th) was rebranded, revamped and a resounding success.

With a last minute change to the mini ones weekend schedule we headed to Newark on Saturday instead of Sunday as planned and, with many of the events already sold out, we were very glad there were also street theatre acts to enjoy and drop-in workshops to join in too.

On arriving in the Nottinghamshire town, we located the festival’s stall in the market place and were just in time to enjoy a performance by The Smallest Theatre in the World.

The humorous take on Hound of the Baskervilles (in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the first Sherlock Holmes publication) involved audience participation and hijinks that captivated Willow who got especially excited whenever a character popped up on top of the theatre’s roof.

NBF3We then took time to listen to Doctor Rhyme reading us a poem describing the problems of trying to write a poem when your tin of alphabetti spaghetti turns out to be spaghetti hoops and requested a poem to be written in celebration of Luke starting school this year.

A quick chase of the BFG around the market place, who we were quite happy to wave at but not quite brave enough to high five, and a short stop to refuel and then we set off to join in the Make and Create: Mr Men session at Millgate Community Centre.

Cardboard templates, scrunched up newspaper, kitchen roll liners, tissue paper coloured squares, facial features and accessory add ons plus some liberally applied glue and sticky tape and Luke had his own Mr Tickle and Willow a Mr Man all of her own creation.

The Roger Hargreaves characters are staple reading in the minis’ library and it was a well thought out craft that the smallest of hands could join with, that could be similarly recreated at home with a rummage through your recycling and which it wasn’t too difficult to get a recognisable finished artwork from.

There was more even crafting to be done afterwards as we headed to Newark Library where there was also dancing and stories to listen to as children’s author Lucy Rowland introduced young readers to her titles The Birthday Invitation and Gecko’s Echo alongside the library launching its Summer Reading Challenge.  Luke was suitably impressed, requesting to buy a copy of Gecko’s Echo to take home with us which he was able to watch the author sign for him and his sisters.

Before it was time to go back to the car we stopped to explore Newark Library’s lovely children’s area with it’s inventive seating and bookshelves that are also tunnels, it’s play kitchen and dolls’ house.  Willow had clearly got the message that books are good as she helped herself to a huge pile of different titles to have mini excerpts read to her from.

And, back at home, bedtime reading requests involved several renditions of Gecko’s Echo (and who wouldn’t appreciate a story featuring a strong mother?) with a couple of the Mr Men stories to follow.

I used to love attending literary festivals before I had children and, whilst it may be in a slightly different way, it can be even more fun with them.  Definitely one for the diary for 2018, hopefully with a little more planning involved too.