A Midsummer Nights Nap, The Garage review: ‘A magical way to introduce children to theatre’
- Credit: Archant
After the stand out success of My First Circus: The Littlest Mermaid, director Daniel Burgess and the crew at The Garage theatre Norwich have done themselves proud with their newest production A Midsummer Nights Nap.
Aimed at children under seven, it is a truly magical performance for all who attend.
All usual theatre decorum is abandoned and children are free to roam about the audience, cuddle up on a cushion or draw on the chalkboard flowers dotted about the grassy floor.
No shushing allowed means parents are openly encouraged to talk to their children about what they see, and help to discover a love for theatre that Daniel Burgess clearly can't help but share.
The very talented cast of actors introduce themselves to the audience both big and small, before the play begins and it immediately puts even the most shy of children at ease.
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We are then treated to a wonderful rendition of Shakespeare's fairy-tale which by focusing on just the stories of The Mechanicals and their play, as well as the fairy King and Queen, it makes it really easy for even the smallest to follow.
It also creates time for some well thought out and relaxed audience participation including costume changes, flower hunts and dance breakouts. Speaking as a mum of a five-year-old who doesn't enjoy large crowds and loud noise, I am pleased to tell you even they were joining in with the singing and dancing with wild abandon.
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The small cast of Peter Mooney, Alex Tosh, Lucy Wells and Kate Hardisty deserve a special mention for their impressive performances.
Their musicianship seemed endless as they all performed multiple instruments and the harmonised vocals were simply magical.
As with any performance involving children, a certain level of improvisation is required, and they seemed completely unfazed by loud observations or prop stealing by the younger members of the audience.
Anyone looking to introduce their children to the wonder world of theatre, or just a fun way to spend an hour of the summer holidays, I honestly cannot recommend enough that you get yourselves tickets to this magical play.
My First Play: A Midsummer Nights Nap runs until Sunday August 4 with three performances a day (10:15am, 1.15pm and 3.15pm) and you can book at thegarage.org.uk.