Archives for the month of: March, 2015

Since my son turned 3 we have been going to the theatre every so often. I didn’t realise, until it was pointed out to me by my mother in law, that there were theatre productions aimed at children and to be honest what a numpty – why wouldn’t there be!

I have to be honest, the first time we went to the theatre I was a bit apprehensive. I was worried that our son and also daddy would be bored but I was very wrong. Even some productions we have been to since which haven’t been great have still kept my sons attention and daddy’s too!

The first production we ever went to was Room on the Broom (courtesy of my mother in law) and to this day it is still the best production we have ever seen, and unfortunately for all other theatre productions has set the bar rather high. With just four people to play the witch, the cat, the dog, the bird and the frog this is an ingenious and colourful way of using puppets to cover all roles. The hour went by so very quickly and with all children’s production there is a level of interaction that you just don’t get with adult productions. The cast got a bit of the giggles at one point as one child in the audience decided to copy the howling of the dog and wouldn’t stop but it was all handled very well. A definite must see if you get the chance. 10 out of 10.

The latest production we have seen is Cat in the Hat at the Palace Theatre in Southend. It seemed a bit chaotic – but then I guess Cat in the Hat is. It looked great and was exactly as you would expect from the book but some of the scenes of chaos went on a bit too long with a repetition of action that even my 4 year old got bored of. He also kept jumping quite lot as it was very loud where were sitting – the downfalls of theatre – be careful to pick your seats well. There was a lot of interaction with this production which was great but only for those sat in the seats in front of the stage and not for those in the circle above the stage and so some of the time it was not possible to see what was going on at all. We expected more and although the hour went quickly, the chocolate buttons saved us some of the time. A take it or leave it production unless your child is really into Cat in the Hat. 5 out of 10.

As for what is next …… we really want to see Dinosaur Zoo!! Using life-like dinosaur puppets it looks like a highly interactive dinosaur adventure for ages 3 and over. Unfortunately it is only showing on weekdays near to us (not great for those who work during the week) so we may have to wait until it comes around to us again – which we hope is soon!

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My 4 year old son has been dancing around saying ‘my arms are in the air like I just don’t care!’ since we first saw the trailer for Home, oh so long ago.

Directed by Tim Johnson and from the creators of The Croods and How to Train your Dragon, this Dreamworks animation stars Rhianna as Tip, Jennifer Lopez as Tip’s mum and Jim Parsons as Oh. This obviously meant that Rhianna released a concept album for the soundtrack so you can imagine what the tunes sound like. But even if you don’t rate Rhianna’s music you really can’t help but wave your arms in the air like you just do not care!

When an alien race called the Boov conquer earth and relocates the human population to the far corner of the world (you can imagine where that far flung place might be), all apart from Tip (Rhianna) who managed to hide from the aliens during the relocation process, a great friendship forms when Tip meets fugitive Boov Oh (Jim Parsons). We soon realise that Oh is not like his alien comrades and Oh realises that humans are not as simple as their leader has led them to believe and they form a great friendship and set out to find Tip’s mum (Jennifer Lopez). Along the way they get a little side tracked as they learn that the Boov’s enemies the Gorg are on their way to destroy earth which is all Oh’s fault…… maybe.

Running at 98 minutes this was a great film for ages 3 and up. The film isn’t scary even though aliens take over the earth (there was one moment when my 4 year old jumped) and it’s especially good for those who are learning and can understand emotion. With every Boov wearing their emotions all over their bodies as they change colour with how they feel which allows for some great moments around telling fibs and being ‘sad mad’.

Home official trailer

We really wanted to love this film and maybe our expectations were too high as it is a goodie but it was just lacking in a little……something. About an hour in my son was more interested in finding number 4 on the seats as the pace reduced but 10 minutes later and he was interested again. It wasn’t lacking any fun or one liners….. there are some great one liners that to be honest only a parent will like and probably use from now on – I will! When it looks like Oh may not keep his promise Tips face turns to anger and is met with ‘what is the purpose of your face?’ and Oh feels that ‘I do not fit in, I fit out’ – we all know how that feels…

This film is great for showing kids emotions and also about how people can’t be judged by the way they look – the Gorg, who are a bit scary to look at (SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT) are not anywhere near as scary as they seem and it turns out that they have a very good reason for following the Boov everywhere they go. Great for conversations around keeping promises, owning up to mistakes and not taking what isn’t yours.

Home is released on 20th March – go see it! All in all a good watch but just missing a little something….

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