I love taking my son to the theatre. And you don’t need to live in London to enjoy good quality shows: Exeter Northcott, The Bike Shed Theatre and Exeter Phoenix all show marvellous children’s productions.
At the Northcott, in the past year or so, we’ve chuckled at knicker-addict aliens in the quirky Aliens Love Underpants, seen scarecrows fall in love in the beautiful The Scarecrows’ Wedding and been charmed by the delightful Blown Away, with its awe-inspiring acrobats and adorable knitted animal puppets. This month – continuing the penguin theme – we waddled along to the magical musical Mr Popper’s Penguins.
Mr Popper’s Penguins is destined for the West End and New York, so it was wonderful to see it at Exeter Northcott first. This was a slick production with imaginative set design and impressive performances.
My son loved the mischievous baby penguins, who performed all manner of comical tricks and stunts through clever puppetry. His verdict was ‘very funny’ and he giggled in delight as one penguin – helmet on – was catapulted across the stage by a cannon, glitter exploding.
The chilly atmosphere drew us in (loved the fake snow), while our hearts were warmed by the touching story of rekindled love and family.
When it comes to children’s theatre, I’m a sucker for audience participation. I really believe this is what draws the little ones in. So I was pleased when we were all invited to join in with some waddling and singing at the end of the performance. It was clear from the laughter and applause that filled the theatre, both parents and kids loved Mr Popper’s Penguins.
If you missed these shows and want to introduce your family to theatre, from 17th-29th October, the Exetreme Imagination Festival brings an impressive selection of shows and workshops to families and young people across the city. Take a look at the programme on the website – https://exetreme.org