Monday, 27 February 2017

Developing a love for the theatre FT. LPAC

I think as children grow up you become more aware of experiences you want them to have and their abilities to enjoy something more than they had done when they were younger. Raphael has been great a watching things from a young age. He has seen quite a few local performances and thoroughly enjoyed them, but at 5.5 he is a prime age for understanding entertainment. Giulietta on the other hand has struggled. Before this recent experience she had only been to one local panto and hadn't really found any interest in it. It was because she was young and well, simply wanted to explore rather than be part of the rapport older children develop with becoming part of what they are watching. Recently though we took the kids to the cinema and it was the first time Etta thoroughly was hooked, watching the whole film in her seat rather than the usual amount of movement. 

Since then, as a family we were invited to the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre {LPAC} which would have been her first proper theatre experience where she could fully be involved. We knew Raphael would love it and had every confidence that he would be ready to take part in any way he could. We went along to see Treasure Island which had performers in from familiar CBeebies shows, so it was a performance really aimed at younger children. Though if I am being honest, we do not watch CBeebies. I really dislike it and as it is actually adults who majoritively listen to the background noise of children's TV, we made a decision early on that it wasn't going to be the wonderfully energetic sounds coming from CBeebies that was going to be on. That said, I was fully confident that any company wanting to put on a performance using such familiar characters from TV shouldn't rely on the audience knowing who they are. Their show should stand alone from that due to its quality and I must say THIS SHOW DID! Regardless of our lack of association with the familiar faces, our kids felt that they were stars in their own right and that was clear at the end when they did a meet and great and both our kids were in awe of meeting these 'real' Pirates rather than them being famous from TV. But that is what I want. I want that magic of theatre to fill our children with amazement so that these actors are seen as stars in their own right because of the experience that they have had. 
The Treasure Island performance was brilliant also for Rob and I. A little ad-lib adds a huge amount of laughter to a play and due to an understudy taking the part of one of the main characters there were exceedingly funny moments of improvisation that really amused us. And I think that is important, for parents to be as amused as kids at theatre shows like this. The show was great and funny from start to finish. As there were only three actors, they played their parts and others so well with such well timed interventions of the characters resulting in a great retelling of a classic story.
 I know this is a touring company travelling around so it might be worth checking their F A C E B O O K page to see if any of their later performances are near by.

I don't think our experience of the show would have been so good had it not been the theatre we were at also being brilliant. It was Rob and my first time at the LPAC which is a theatre situated right by the University in the heart of the city. It is a great space which not only houses touring theatre companies but also open mic nights, music evenings, University and local drama and dance school performances as well. It also has a brilliant coffee shop which also is a bar, so socialising there is a big thing. In fact some fiends were telling us about their Friday night Jazz sessions and how entertaining they are. 
I was also super impressed by the main auditorium and by the seats of all things. They were fold down benches for 2 and were so roomy and perfect for parents and children as you could get really snuggled on them. Its always the little details that impress me!! But I just thought it was brilliant.

With our new found fondness of the LPAC now discovered I couldn't wait to book in a few performances of things coming up to help get the children into viewing more live theatre. I feel that they will benefit from it and we are quickly discovering that Etta is possibly going to be called to more dramatic hobbies due to her over acting behaviour that we seem to be experiencing! That said, taking kids to live performances is a great way to encourage them in developing their own style of performing and understanding other people's performances are great for this, so for us, our visits to the LPAC are really going to grow!

Some shows coming soon that we are really excited about are 

These shows in particular really appeal to us as a family and are aimed at young children and families so tick all the boxes for what I am looking for. 

Additionally, LPAC have story tellers session for little ones on a Friday morning in the Zing Cafe as part of the Lil' Pacs events which I hear are great, but we haven't got to one yet!

All in all, I wanted to share our experience with you because it was a fantastic new one for us. If you are local, this place is sure worth checking out!


*Thankyou to LPAC for allowing us to come and also for the use of their Photos regarding the building and cafe. 

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