Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A Fully Tested Way To Enjoying The Theatre With Kids.

We have never been the kind of parents to rush into things. You know, taking the kids places we think they want to go even though they may not be the ideal age. Like Disneyland, for example; we haven't been as we just thought Etta was too young. We didn't want to just do it, we want to have these experiences when we know we will all enjoy them. We have always waited until the right time, and the right time has always come about so naturally. And when you start having these experiences you often get those pangs of wishing you had done them sooner, but in reality, doing them at the right time makes them perfect.
Our relationship, as a family, with the theatre is one that has really worked this way. Rob and I love the theatre and any kind of live performance. I remember, we took the kids to the pantomime when they were 1 and 3 and it was just difficult. Luckily there was space to move but honestly, they weren't interested. That put us off and we didn't really take Etta to anything like that again until we struck up a relationship with Lincoln Performing Arts Centre; a university theatre, but also a public theatre in its own right. Not only does this house all of the students' performances, but this theatre showcases some of the best touring companies around and they have a huge vested interest in children and family theatre, which is just amazing. You may have seen me write about our experiences here before {HERE and HERE} and once again we had the pleasure of viewing another awesome performance from a great touring company.

Before I talk about the show, I just wanted to highlight how our kids deal with the going to the theatre. As the LPAC itself has become familiar territory we always head down a bit early so we have a chance to play with some of the toys they have in the ZING bar. This gets the kids really excited and they just love being able to go there and build some Lego, which then gets proudly displayed. The staff are always so kind and are really happy to help with anything and having this little routine sets our kids up perfectly before we head into the auditorium. With the walk up and the seat finding I then start to get butterflies, hoping the performance is as good for the adults as it is for the kids and by the time we are sat on the brilliant double bench seats we are all ready to be entertained. What I love about the LPAC auditorium is that it is spacious. It's clear and you can see well. There is space for you to stand at the sides if young ones are fidgety but that doesn't often happen as most get absorbed into the performance. One thing I did notice about this last one was that the age advertised to enjoy the performance was true. It was not for young toddlers and some did struggle, but due to the set up it didn't disturb the performance, it just made me conscious that it did suit our 3 and 5 year old and that was who they advised the audience to be. I just thought I would point that out!
With the lights down we settled in to watching two fantastic actors, who were part of the Stuff and Nonsense theatre company who performed the story of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' with just them and a range of puppets. The set was great and the style was very artistic and clever. A beautiful use of space and the most wonderfully clever acting took place right before our eyes. What I loved was the effort that went into it. The kids see it as magical; all these characters and props but what I see is the sheer brilliance in the artistry of it all. The initial idea and its execution is so wonderful to see and as the adult watching the people draw the children into the performance is really quite amazing to see.
What I also love is that our children are really beginning to love going to the theatre. We have hit it at just the right age and with having the time to play, before hand and after, makes the whole experience one that is very much meant for them. This helps within all aspects, behaviour especially as it gives them time to prepare and they like that. I absolutely love that they enjoy going as it means that we equally have a great time too.

The next performance we are off to see there is The Tiger Who Came To Tea and as it is one of our favourite books I can't tell you how excited we all are! I think it may be a super one for us and one that will hopefully really bring the book to life for our kids. 
For all information and performance lists head to the LPAC website and if you are locals I urge you to head down and see what it's all about!


1 comment

  1. The theatre is fantastic for kids, especially shows that are geared for specific ages. Our local theatre puts blankets on the floor and picket fence around the area so young kids can sit on their own blanket in their own space right in front of the stage. I have never heard of the Tiger Who Came To Tea. I will ask for it at the library. Thank you!


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