Mumbler Reviews: “My First Panto: Little Red Riding Hood” at The Garage
I am always slightly wary of taking Mini Mumbler to things. As lovely as she is she can be a little ‘spirited’, shall we say? I took her to ‘My First Panto: Cinderella’ at The Garage at Christmas last year when I was heavily pregnant. She spent the whole performance dancing in and out of the characters, shouting and generally getting in the way, and it ended with my friend having to carry her out and back to the car because she refused to leave. At the time I was horrendously embarrassed and vowed never to take her to a show EVER again.
One year later…we were lucky enough to be invited to a preview of My First Panto: Little Red Riding Hood. Mini Mumbler is a year older and I am certainly not pregnant so I thought we would give it another go and boy am I glad we did. It is brilliant!
We decided to make Mummy/Daughter date afternoon of it and had lunch in the city before the show. Having completely underestimated how long it would take us to park (stupid Christmas – bah humbug!), we were left with 45 minutes to order, eat and get to the theatre. We chose Giraffe as it is just down the road from the The Garage and were super impressed they made sure everything was as fast as possible, meaning we made it to the theatre with 5 minutes to spare.
The whole arrangement of the show is geared towards making it a magical, immersive experience. From the moment you walk through the entrance of fairy lights into the theatre you can tell they’ve put a lot of thought into the details that will capture young and old alike. It’s not like a traditional theatre performance; cushions are dotted around the outside of the centre area and we were told that little ones were welcome to get up and move around, go to the loo, do whatever they needed to do etc, and while we waited for the show to start we were even invited to colour in parts of the set with chalks to keep busy!
The show is about an hour long and the actors perform in the middle of the ‘stage’ area. The performers are SO good adapting to little people interruptions and reacting to things they react to and there is always something happening (and always from a different direction – look up!). Plus, the little interactive touches to get young ones involved (you get to make cakes, collect flowers, go on a walk) mean that children who find it tricky to sit still always have reasons to move, a MUST for a show aimed at 2+ years old!!
I posted a picture on Instagram saying that we had been to this show and someone commented that I had reassured them that their ‘active’ little ones would be ok during the performance. If you are also wondering whether to book tickets for this reason I would say, DO IT. No one will bat an eyelid if your little one is squiggling around the floor (not mine), randomly shouting out ‘No, you NAUGHTY WOLF!’ (mine) or getting under the feet of the actors (mine sometimes); it’s what this first panto theatre performance is all about. Ohhhh, yes it is!
For more information or to book tickets go to The Garage website. The show is on from now until 29th December. Times below: