Saturday, 30 March 2013

We went on a bear hunt!

Today was a first, for me a brave first, for the little people- well, they were brave for another reason.
We went on a bear hunt, at the New Theatre Cardiff.

"We're going on a Bear Hunt" is on its Spring/ Summer tour. It is one of Squeaks' favourite books, written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxsbury.

When I heard this was going to be touring, and visiting Cardiff, I couldn't resist buying three children's tickets.
Despite it being a suggested 3+ years performance.
And if you had asked me at the point I took this photo, I would have predicted leaving the theatre with grey hair.
And yet, the minute the lights dimmed, and the performance began,
I lost my children.
I lost all three of them to the magic of the theatre.

Tiny was my star.
He wanted nothing to do with mummy.
He got comfy in his chair.
And watched, and danced in his seat, and joined in with the songs and shouting "Bear!".
And every now and then, for reassurance, he turned around to the rest of the theatre to make sure they were with him on his journey.

Cheeky, oddly, was the one who decided he wanted on mummy's knee.
And from there he was as confident as he always is.
Mesmerised and applauding to show his enjoyment at all the right moments.

Squeaks was as good as she always is.
Deciding to take Cheeky's seat to be closer to mummy.
And making friends so she ended up joining in, being scared of the bear.

And it was a fantastic show. Most comparable to James and the Giant Peach, it is a small cast of four (plus the bear!). With singing, puppetry, props, musical instruments, and audience interaction.

As we read the book last night I couldn't help but wonder how the book would translate to a 55minute theatre production.
And it did in a way that meant there was no time check, that there was no distraction, it was pure engagement.
The mix of engagement I think achieved this so well. From using the stage, to using the theatre, to changing perspectives, and involving everyone in the journey.

The performers were as adept as it seems actors today need to be- not only acting, but singing, and playing musical instruments.
I doff my hat!

And I'll be honest, having heard of, and witnessed little ones leaving the theatre early. The bear is lovely. But in a young person's eyes- who is engrossed and involved in the performance- can be scary.
I thank my lucky stars that the boys responded well.
But this is probably the reason it is a 3+ performance.

And as the curtain came down and I thought about trying to get the children out in tact, Mr J walked in with helping hands.

My three children did me so proud.
They loved the theatre.

And a bit like the dentist, the little people left the theatre with their badges of honour!


  1. Looks good fun and a far more interesting and engaging 'alternative' production to those that I've seen before. Glad the children enjoyed it, I must take The Boy to the theatre.

    1. I think we've been quite fortunate. We've got a few coming up which I'm a bit dubious about but hoping the little people with love.
      The Sherman is fantastic for 'proper' theatre for young people and has a great weekend coming up... which clashes with Butlin's :(


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