Room on the Broom
Paul Johnson | 21 Aug 2015 16:24pm
The Sardines Tin is a Julia Donaldson-friendly sort of place. We have every book, we have the DVDs, we go to the shows and any other related activity. We like to think we are true fans. Having seen Room on the Broom three times in as many months, I think I’m in a pretty good position to review!
5* – there, job done!
Okay, why you ask? Well, as previous review have mentioned, there are two ways children’s shows go – faithful reproduction of the book (The Tiger Who Came to Tea, for example) or a story that is filled out a bit to give an hour’s good entertainment (The Gruffalo, Stick Man and so on). This is the latter, and I don’t have a problem with that.
The piece is nicely rounded, ending where it starts, but not as the book does. There were a few bemused audience members that grudgingly conceded it made sense once they watched the whole thing – their issue, not the show’s. The main thing for me though is this is an excellent piece of physical theatre (again).
The children love the story, I’m sure many can recite it from heart as Mini Sardines does, regularly, especially the buzz off bit… But children need entertaining (based on the seven adults texting throughout, clearly some adults do too!) and this is where these types of shows excel. The silliness makes the children laugh, the songs make them hum along. Everything about this show is designed to give children a positive theatrical experience, using a story they are comfortable with.
As I said, I’ve seen this show three times, two venues, two casts. What I have realised is there are extraneous factors that will influence your enjoyment. Seats nearer the stage DO have an impact on how involved your child will feel and stay. Pay the extra for a better experience. Venue and time of day also play a part, as does other audience members unfortunately. Mini Sardines begs to see a shows – he loves the theatre and he sits rapt to what’s happening onstage. We try and facilitate that by remaining quiet, sitting still etc. Other parents view theatre going a bit differently and personally, I find texting, loud talking, noisy eating and jumping around all rather off putting, not to mention disrespectful to the cast. But that’s just me.
“I love this show” said Mini Sardines (nearly two and a half) on the way out – what better endorsement do you need?!
Two more days at The Orchard, Dartford, then flying off to Oxford. Catch it before their long holiday before an extended run in North Finchley.
- : admin
- : 21/08/2015