While Florence enjoyed the birthday party of a friend on Sunday morning, the boys and I, along with a very good pal, went to My First Panto, (Little Red Riding Hood) which is this season’s offering for kids from The Garage in Norwich. I know a little about The Garage, an arts centre, a theatre, performance space, studios… Rather an all encompassing venue for performance and art I feel, but I haven’t had too much to do with them yet. Which is a shame and I must look into that, both for acting lessons for the children and perhaps something for me too… We shall see…
Anyhoo, I digress! The panto was WONDERFUL! So delightful in fact that I could hardly believe I was in my little home City of Norwich. I left here many years ago for drama school rather jaded about my patch of the woods and its abilities for the performing arts and came back to note that not much had changed. I packed my bags and went back to London quick smart and now… With a family in tow and back in ‘folk once more, I had kind of thought this particular style of theatre for children was a long way off our county of Norfolk yet… I mean we’ve got better in the last 20 years but I didn’t realise we’d come on THIS far! But the My First Panto showed me I was wrong to think we had to always make the trip to the capital for this kind of cultural soak up; it reminded me of some of the more beautiful things we’ve seen at Polka Theatre in Wimbledon (a personal fave theatre of ours) and I was stunned!
Three actors reassuringly tell the ‘what could be’ scary story of Little Red Riding Hood using gentle song as they play the guitar, mandolin and accordion. Three very accomplished actors it has to be stated, who engaged with the children in an immersive experience I’m pretty sure most of them hadn’t experienced before but all of them will go away wishing to re-visit! We loved it, we loved making cakes with them, we adored singing with them and we especially enjoyed being a part of the story with them! The whole show was a triumph with only the merest hint at ‘he’s behind you’ (bit of a spider looming moment) and ‘Oh yes it is’-ing! Even Raffie, at very nearly 8 week’s old, was able to really ‘experience’ something with this show. The lights and garlands above head as he lay on a cushion on the floor (we were all sat around the story on cushions on the floor) mesmerised him throughout!
Little Red Riding Hood get the My First Panto treatment as All-In Productions and The Garage embark on this Christmas production together following the success of last year’s smash hit My First Panto: Cinderella and we think it’s flipping brilliant so get there if you can!..
My First Panto: Little Red Riding Hood is the event the whole family can enjoy. Age: 1-6 but fun for all the family!
Running time: 50 minutes
My First Panto: Little Red Riding Hood is showing at The Garage in Norwich throughout December. For dates, times and to book tickets please visit http://www.thegarage.org.uk/event/my-first-panto-little-red-riding-hood.
We were invited to see the show as guests of the theatre.