Thursday, 4 July 2013

Grandpa in my Pocket at the New Theatre, Cardiff

Grandpa in my Pocket has been brought to the stage for a pirate adventure.
What child would not instantly be excited?
Grandpa in my Pocket is the popular CBeebies series which, it transpires, Mr J and Squeaks like to watch when mummy's at work and the boys are playing.
And it's at the New Theatre from July 4th-7th as part of its current tour.
'Teamwork' encourages everyone to use their imagination, to get involved.

We were fortunate enough to be invited to the opening night. And Squeaks was mesmerised from the outset.
It's one of the longer performances we've been to, two hours including an interval. At 4, Squeaks was engaged throughout, and with a good amount of audience participation there was lots of shouting, clapping and squeals of delight.

The performance surrounds a pirate adventure so it was right up our street. We had treasure, boats, islands, and a pirate. Mr J, in spite of himself, laughed, and then laughed at the fact he was laughing.

The staging was fantastic, and gave a great summer vibe. The beach houses were creatively utilised as six actors took on eleven characters! Squeaks loved Grandpa, and spent the interval calling a man in a red jumper 'grandpa' such was her enthusiasm to get on with the show!

Ok, so I think Mr J was a little disappointed that there was no magic involved when Grandpa put on his flat cap, but nobody could be unimpressed with how cleverly Grandpa is created in small form and the amount of effort which goes into him flying planes, sailing boats, and hiding in trees.

Grandpa even landed on Mr J's head, and jumped onto Squeaks face.

This was all I heard about as we walked back to the car. It seems I did not wish hard enough- that this was the reason that Grandpa did not befriend me.

As is always the way, I was impressed by how well the staging worked- I loved how they created the sailing boats- both for 'full size' characters, and for Grandpa.
I came away with a great craft activity involving butterflies.
I loved how the characters came into the audience and kept everyone on their toes.
And I was impressed with the mix of characters each actor took on.

I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of the CBeebies programme- but this, this was fantastic because (apart from I didn't know the characters names) it was irrelevant. This was a great faraway adventure for children from 3 years and up.
Of course, if you love the CBeebies programme it's probably better- Squeaks was in her element calling "Mr Liker Biker"!

I would definitely recommend this as a family friendly performance which, it seems, engages adults and children alike!

Grandpa in my Pocket will be visiting Cornwall, Hastings, Bradford, Dartford, Exeter, Oxford, Wycombe, Rhyl, Richmond and Brighton as part of the tour.
It is at the New Theatre, Cardiff until Sunday 7th July.

Disclosure: We received tickets for the Johnson family to enable us to review the performance.


  1. Visiting Cornwall, will look out for it, I have friends who would love this.

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