Monday, 2 April 2018

How the theatre is so important for children and for me!

I have always been pro theatre and after a half term of the kids having drama club, our life has become a flurry of theatrical fun. 
What's amazing is how Raphael has come on in his confidence. Since having quite a few theatre experiences last year and since seeing the NEW THEATRE ROYAL's pantomime in December our children have really come on in terms of dramatic performances. It's like they just realised what an actor is and embraced it. They both also have weekly dance lessons and their confidence and want to show off has really become apparent. I always knew it would make a difference to their confidence but I didn't realise just how much our children respond to theatrical experiences.

I think for the kids it is actually really inspiring to see stage shows especially ones with kids in. I know Raph looked on one of the young boy dancing extras as someone who was similar to him and he really inspired him. Etta just thinks that any girl in a fab costume is some sort of dream princess so, for her, watching all these beautiful women perform was what she absolutely loved. I know from start to finish, of all the local shows we have been to, our kids have been really well suited to the experiences and loved them. 

For me, as an adult I enjoy getting lost in a story. Sometimes when you go to child oriented plays there's a worry that it will just be childish, but I do try to throw myself into them so that I can enjoy them too, otherwise it makes the whole experience pretty boring. 

Theatre is so good for kids, not only will it develop their imagination but their language, communication, sense of wonder and develop their concentration skills, but it helps them to understand emotions; sympathy, joy, a moral code {there is usually some right and wrong story in children's plays} and this is all done from spending a few hours sat watching other people. It's more entertaining than TV and a child comes out of it with a sense of wonder. 
I find theatre is great as well for blurring the lines between real life and fiction. In movies, the actors 'could' be real, but when you see an actor in front of you, to a child, they are that person, real. 
When we go to see ALICE IN WONDERLAND later this week as a holiday treat I am fully expecting Etta to come out and be really pleased that she has seen the real Alice. It is just how they interpret the experience and I love it. 

If all that learning and developing wasn't enough I find it incredible that going to the Theatre, even now, for me, is still as magical as going when I was a child. I don't remember my first trip to the theatre even though I have many recollections of seeing performances but I do remember my first ballet. I was young, really young and I remember getting a pair of souvenir ballet shoes, just tiny ones. I think I must have gone with my ballet group because I also remember seeing people we knew, or maybe, to me, all little girls dressed in tutus with pretty buns on their trips to the ballet just looked familiar. Anyway, regardless, it was memorable to me, a performance of 'The Nutcracker' and to be honest, I have loved dance shows all my life. In fact, the opportunity to see a ballet doesn't come along all that often, so when I saw that later in the year the NEW THEATRE ROYAL had The Nutcracker coming I booked my tickets right away and not only is it going to be Rob's first ballet, but I decided to take Etta and Raph and as they already adore the story of 'The Nutcracker'. This will really be an event to remember and one that our children will hopefully love!

I love that in Lincoln, even though we are a small city we have 3 theatres that spoil us. For us, you will know that we have worked with the LPAC before, but it is so nice being able to now support NEW THEATRE ROYAL and share what they have on offer too.

Theatre needs to be seen. You need to take your kids to the theatre whenever you can; it is beyond beneficial and even if it is just local amateur performances of big stage shows, theatre brings stories to life in a way movies don't. They make them real, physical and touchable giving children the most wonderful opportunities to connect with others and connect emotionally with themselves. 

With loads of other things coming on through the year it is surely worth having a look at NEW THEATRE ROYAL'S website.

*Post in collaboration with The New Theatre Royal who also have gifted us tickets to see Alice In Wonderland.


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