Our family loves the theatre. Between us we’re lucky enough to have seen most of the big shows, but we enjoy local amateur dramatics just as much. There’s nothing like sitting in a creaky old seat, with ice cream during the intermission and performances that make your eyes wide.
We chat about the shows we’ve seen for years, much longer than any movie or trip to a theme park. Like the time Beth realised a plot twist at the end of Wicked, when we witnessed a marriage proposal at the end of Top Hat or when we got such great seats that a bit of St Jimmy’s sweat dripped on me while we watched American Idiot (true story).
I hope that Dottie grows up with the same love of the arts that we have and undoubtably the best way to encourage that is to introduce her to the theatre as early as possible. That’s why I was very pleased, if a little confused when I heard about Sponge, a stage show created for very young children.
We watched the show at Z-Arts in Manchester, a venue I haven’t visited before but straight away I felt at home.
The audience was a made up of pre-school children and their grown ups. We sat on the floor of the stage area with our shoes off and the show began.
It was a bizarre mixture of 70s style music, kids TV presenter clothes and sponge…actual sponges. The actors, a lady and a man, don’t speak but communicate with each other and us, through dance and facial expressions.
I kept trying to find a story within the show but I couldn’t. Then I realised that the reason I couldn’t was because the show wasn’t made for me, it was for Dottie. She doesn’t care about the start, middle and end. It makes no difference to her what the actors are trying to say to each other so long as it looks interesting and engaging. And interested and engaged she was.
Dottie LOVED the show and was especially pleased when towards the end, the two performers invited the audience to join them.
“This is 100% the weirdest day of my life…so far”
Dottie squealed as we piled up sponge and knocked it down, squished it up and threw it in the air but I think her favourite part was sitting in a bucket and being swung around!
“Dude I’m not sure about this.”
“You my friend are bloomin’ awesome!!”
I would wholeheartedly recommend this show and Z-Arts in general, as a perfect introduction to the theatre. We’ll definitely be visiting again.
What’s your favourite stage show?