Friday, 31 October 2014

Half term fun at Sherman Cymru with Match

If there's one thing (and there's a lot more) Sherman Cymru does well, it's holiday fun for children.
This half term we were invited to see the start of Dot & Ethel's new touring production of "Match".
And as we stepped foot into the foyer, we stepped foot into a busy, welcoming environment.
Full of crafts and fun for the little ones, and the usual fab coffee for parents with depreciating caffeine levels.
After dragging Seren away from the fantastic cakes and treats, we stepped into the magic of the Sherman's Theatre 2.
Theatre 2 is the perfect space for young people, a theatre informal enough to be relaxed into the performance as floor cushions are the order of the day.
"Match" is based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl", and explores the story of a little girl to afraid too go home, the performance recreates the memories of a grandmother, and the visions created through the lighting of a match, until they are gone, and one final vision is created.

This interpretation, by Eloise Secker and Jade Berks, saw children instantly transfixed as the two created a sequence of physical theatre, with very little dialogue. With the inclusion of audience interaction, the theatre was filled with delighted giggles as newspaper was used to prevent deflation.

In some ways the initial sequence was slightly too long, Seren did get a little restless but was soon back on board as the adventures of the two girls were explored and realised.
The two have a lovely bond, and succeed in engaging the young audience through the humour created by their facial and physical interaction.
There was something here for me that imaginative play is a lot of fun, but sometimes, as an adult bystander, our focus is only kept for so long before we want to join in or become distracted.

As the adventures were unveiled so attention was captured once more. With clothes created, bubbles from tea cups, fairy lights, walking sticks and floor lamps, cardboard boxes and red glitter shoes, so everything becomes a journey into the imagination.

Seren loved aligning the imaginative play with projected images, and whilst I am not sure she understood the symbolism of the final fairy lights and the little girl's journey to heaven, to an extent, I am sort of ok with this. Seren has an understanding of death, but for now, I am happy that my 5yo instead loves the idea of making her bedroom her space by recreating the fairy lights as stars in the sky.

Dot and Ethel are now taking "Match" on a UK tour, and their adventures can be followed on their blog.
For Seren, life quickly moves on, I still haven't been forgiven for not taking her to see Peter Pan at the Sherman (two years ago!) and so focus has already moved on to what the Sherman has in store this Christmas, which has also been accompanied by the request for ample time for cake!

Disclosure: We received tickets for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views contained are our own.

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