This weekend we took a couple of trips to the theatre (because Mummy isn’t ever so good at checking her diary to see what’s already planned!).  If you managed to catch up with this post you’ll know we’re trying out some ‘indoor’ activities with the girls now that Autumn has finally caught up with us.

The first was to see Emily Brown and the Thing by the Tall Stories Theatre Company. Now I have to admit this wasn’t a story I’d heard of but as it was co-written by Cressida Cowell of ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ fame, I knew it would be good, but had no idea just how good!

We took out 2 1/2 year old daughter and her baby sister of 5 months, which some would deem a risk for a predominantly talking production with very little in the way of set, but they were both transfixed by the exceptional acting from Anna Wheatley (Emily Brown), Sam Donovan (Stanley) and Chris Gunter (The Thing).

Anna pulls off Emily’s awkward childhood charm perfectly as she takes us through this story of a little girl’s very active imagination in the hours just before sleep.  Her partner in crime, Stanley,  the rabbit (not a dog!), is the perfect adventurer to head off into the dark and scary wood with in search of the cuddly, and other objects The Thing can’t possibly do without.

The cast bring this delightful story to life with an ingenious use of puppets, character changes and set.  The storytelling was perfect and the audience participation just right for it’s younger theatre goers.  The performance appealed to all members of our family, even Daddy, who is very hard to impress.  You did not feel like you were there just in the hope your children would enjoy it.

It’s the perfect story to come back to if your child is finding every excuse under the sun not to get to sleep, or is a little bit scared of the noises in the dark or what might be lurking under the bed.  Whatever the Thing is, it’s probably just a little bit lonely, like you, at bedtime.

As a family we thoroughly enjoyed the performance, and we were genuinely impressed with the humour and emotion Tall Stories brought to the stage.  If they are coming to a theatre near you do pop along and see this show, as I promise you and your family will be thoroughly entertained and a little piece of you will be transported back to the nights you shared with your Stanley (who is not a dog!).


Family Fever


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  1. I have never heard of this before. I think it is a great way to get messages over to kids in a way they can understand. Going to bed has always been a bugbear for us


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