If you want your two-and-a-half year old son (who usually sounds like he’s swallowed a dictionary!) to be quiet for longer than 10 minutes then take him to the theatre.
That’s right – the first 45 minutes of Fireman Sam at Theatre Severn and not a sound or even a movement out of him (apart from to put his Fireman Sam hat back on!)
He was simply star struck. We had this same experience when he watched Bob the Builder at a theatre a few months ago and once again he looked like he was having the worst time of his life.
While the rest of the audience at the fabulous theatre – packed with babies, toddlers, parents and grandparents treating their youngsters during the half-term – were dancing, singing and clapping, my son simply sat. I did catch him tapping his toe but he could not risk taking his eyes off the stage for even one second to get off his seat and dance.
While ten-month-old Archie was quite the opposite and became the centre of attention in our row as he enthusiastically waved his arms every time any of the characters waved from the stage and bounced on my knee to the music.
During the interval I checked Eddie was enjoying himself to which he simply said “I’ve just seen the real Fireman Sam and the real Jupiter – it’s real, really real mummy.”
The producers of the show brought the much-loved characters of Fireman Sam to life, including naughty Norman Price and his mischievous antics and recreated a “huge” Jupiter – and compared to the toy Jupiter clutched by Eddie it was “huge”.
The moral of the theatre performance which included a host of music and dancing was “sneaking and peaking” spoils surprises and surprises are much better if they are left as that.
I am sure the older children in the audience took something from the message.
The staff at Theatre Severn welcomed the youngsters as if they were VIPs and no parent should worry if their child is too young for the theatre – with such a family show everyone is sympathetic to the fidgeting, regular toilet runs and over-excited squeals.
It was a fantastic family afternoon which became the topic of conversation all of the way home, during tea, after tea and during bedtime and no doubt Fireman Sam will be the first person to be mentioned tomorrow. It was a first class memorable show for any child (and I must admit I may have even enjoyed meeting the hero next door too!)
After leaving the theatre, the first job on the to-do list was check-out the family programme for the rest of the year at Theatre Severn and I know we’ll be there for Cbeebies Chris and Pui’s show and every child’s favourite book The Gruffalo.
Visit www.theatresevern.co.uk for programme information.