Today’s Review post is from Rebecca, one of the NHM Writers. She’s done a fab job! Thanks Rebecca!
Review 2015: Little Red and the Wolves at Proteus Creation Space
I have to admit that when I offered to review the Proteus theatre’s production of Little Red and the Wolves, it was with slight trepidation. I cannot remember the last time I went to the theatre, and certainly would not describe myself as a theatre goer. On reading the info online, I was also feeling slightly confused as to who this show was aimed at. The description was something I might read on a thriller movie synopsis, and yet a small line at the end described it as a family show. I have to admit my experience of young children so far has been gritting my teeth through soft play, c beebies and toddler groups. The idea of attending something with my children that we might both enjoy was alien to me.
So with all this in mind, I decided to leave my 5 year old at home so that I could firstly review the performance in peace, and secondly gauge how appropriate I felt it would be for young children.
I arrived just in time for the start of the show and the helpful man on the door pointed to some vacant seats. It was busy and about a third of the audience were children. I saw a little boy who I later discovered was 5, and a group of what appeared to be girl scouts who I imagined were aged from about 7 to 12.
When the performance started I couldn’t help but feel a little bit cringey. Real life productions are certainly an acquired taste and I felt nervous that something was going to go terribly wrong. But it wasn’t long before I was being drawn in to the story and the engaging dialogue, and I realised that this nervous feeling is part of the thrill of a live show. Indeed they did make a couple of minor mistakes (I doubt a child or unobservant adult would even notice) but their comedic timing, professionalism and clear connection as a group made even the odd mishap another opportunity to entertain. By the end of the performance it was clear we were in safe hands and I frequently found myself thinking ‘my eldest would love this’, and imagined his face lighting up as their innovative use of puppetry, props and acrobatics captivated their audience. As I glanced over to the five year old boy I noticed that he too was hooked. I later caught up with him in the break to ask whether he was enjoying it and he beamed declaring that he couldn’t wait to find out what happened in the end! By the end of the performance even I was laughing out loud. Not something I am often found doing, especially when on my own in a room full of strangers.
What the cast manged to achieve was quite remarkable and it reminded me of why theatre can be so much more powerful than simply watching a screen. When you see people acting, you feel the energy and young minds can be inspired at how our voices, our movements and simple props can take our imaginations wherever they want to go. The talented cast certainly inspired me and I’m already planning to take my 5 year old back. He’s never been to the theatre before but this relaxed, warm and welcoming environment would be a perfect introduction. They even have a specific relaxed performance for children and those with additional needs if you’re worried about your child’s ability to sit through the whole performance.
I would say that as this is a live performance the ‘scary’ scenes can be that little bit more intense and I wouldn’t advise anyone with sensitive children to go. I noticed the five year old boy close his eyes and cover his ears at some of the scariest bits and their advice is that the show is unsuitable for under 5’s.
If you find yourself fast forwarding the scary parts of Disney movies and editing your fairy tale stories then maybe this isn’t the show for you. And if you’re idea of good theatre is being able to shout ‘oh no he isn’t’ and singing along then I’d suggest sticking to the c beebies live shows and pantos. However, if you’re looking for inspiration for a great parent/child date that you’ll both enjoy, and like the idea of introducing your child to the exhilarating world of live theatre, then I don’t think you’ll find a much better way of brightening up a cold and dark winter’s afternoon.
Ticket’s for Little Red and the Wolves start at £2 for a child and £8 for a family ticket and can be booked online with a small booking fee. They are performing at several locations over November, December and January, mostly at weekends. For more information on their dates and to book online please see the following link:
You can also find out more information about this production on a previous post on NorthHantsMum.
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