I LOVE the theatre. Half my degree at University was theatre based. I enjoy the experience of pretty much any type of performance just as I love going to exercise my critical appreciation. And I am really loving passing this on to Munchkin. I am lucky we live in London. There are so many venues with so many shows aimed just at her age group that we really are spoilt for choice. Today, we took her to see Rapunzel at The Watermans in Brentford and it was great fun.
I love taking kids to the theatre. I’ve been to so many performances with students, for exams, for extra-curricular activities, and just for fun. The first children’s theatre I visited in London was the Little Angel Theatre when I took my niece to see a puppet show, long before Munchkin was even a serious thought. We saw a production of The Elves and the Shoemaker and it was excellent.
Munchkin first went to the theatre aged 2. We went to see a performance called Rip Fold Scrunch at the Polka theatre in Wimbledon. The Polka theatre is a great day out. It has a cafe, a playground, a nature trail, dressing up, books and various things to play with and that’s before you’ve even been to the theatre. They have a massive range of shows all targeted at particular ages. Their pre-school things are put on in their studio space and so the kids don’t have to sit still and quiet or be a traditional theatre audience; and in all the performances we’ve seen there, there has been an interactive section at the end – that’s where Munchkin made the cat mask that you see in the attached photo.
A few weeks ago, a friend and I took our girls to The Watermans for the first time. It’s crazy that we haven’t been there before as it really is round the corner. The school I work at even have the students’ film festival there every year! (Talk about ignoring what’s on your doorstep.) Anyway, we took the girls to see The Enormous Turnip by Stuff and Nonsence Theatre company. It was great fun. Really well targeted for it’s audience. It is a ‘proper’ theatre and the lights go down during the performance and such-like, but it is so engaging that Munchkin and her friend sat, pretty much un-moving, for the whole 50minute performance. They were spell bound.
Today’s performance of Rapunzel was a little more ‘arty’ than The Enormous Turnip had been and had an appeal for older children too. It was a version of the story with a deep moral thread. There was no witch, no magic and Rapunzel’s hair cutting was her own choice when she out grew the protective nature of her Nan – the over-protective, mother-figure who had built the tower to keep herself and Rapunzel safe from a world which didn’t like her because she was different.
It may sound like this story was too much for a 3.5 year old, but Munchkin was spell bound. The actors were engaging and the storyline simple to engage with on a range of levels. There was dancing and music and agian it was only 50minutes long so it didn’t require sitting for too long!
Rapunzel is by a touring company called Tutti-Fruiti and I’d really recommend checking out their website to find out if there’s a venue near you. The Enormous Turnip is also still out on tour. Click here to see if it’s coming near you.
We often talk about me-time on More than a Mum and I find that sharing my loves and passions with Munchkin is a great way to combine me-time and family time. By taking Munchkin to the theatre I am engaging her, I am educating her and she is having a brilliant day out, and yet I am also doing something which is special and enjoyable for me. #bestofbothworlds