I was offered the opportunity to attend a Christmas show at the Gala Theatre today with my little man called Elf’s Christmas Wish. It is a charming and interactive introduction to theatre which engages the senses and inspires the imagination. It includes original music, movement and puppets and the simple storytelling is perfect for the under 5s to enjoy with their families at Christmas time. I decided that it sounded like a lovely thing to take my 3 year old to and that it would be good to prepare him for when he goes to see a pantomime later this month.
The show was in the studio upstairs in the Gala theatre which is a small room so it was an intimate showing. There were chairs for adults around the room and mats in front for the little ones, however lots of adults ended up sitting on the floor holding on to little wriggly toddlers. I was told that the showing I attended was sold out which worried me and made me think it would be too busy, but it’s nice to see even fully booked up it is still a nice number of adults and children. Everyone had a good view of the show and it didn’t appear that the children were struggling to see or join in.
With there not being a stage and the performance just being on the floor (the same level as the little ones) you did find that lots of them couldn’t resist temptation to run and ‘join in’. There were lots of parents crawling on hands and knees to remove little ones from the performance area and some having to sprint after babies who liked to leg it back stage! It was obviously expected at an under 5’s event but it did add an extra bit of humour and cuteness I suppose. There were lots of under 2 year old’s there and apart from being wiggle bums they were all pretty well behaved and seemed to be enjoying it.
The show was made up of just 2 characters, Elfie and Elf. They were very energetic and their costumes were great! The set was also really good with one big prop at the back of the performance which was a house/bedroom with a fireplace, washing machine and bed. The actors used other props too such as a trunk/boxes, lots of coloured rolls of organza and confetti. They did various silly things like trying to fit a teddy in to a small box and picking up the wrong colours of organza, causing children to yell out the correct answer and join in.
The main story in the performance is that the Elves accidentally rip the map Santa uses to deliver his presents. So the majority of the show consists of the Elves trying to make a new map using magic. They get all of the children to help them and have them up jumping around, singing twinkle twinkle little star and also hand them all bells to shake and make loads of noise. Little man couldn’t get up quick enough whenever they asked the children to join in. He was loving being a part of it and he was enthusiastically joining in with everything.
I have to say that the show really was lovely for the little ones. I would say it is suited to any age but after 5 the children may find it a bit too ‘baby ish’. The show wasn’t too long and lasted about half an hour so that was perfect for getting children used to sitting still and listening for a longer period of time without it being too long. It was also quite educational at times with the Elves asking questions like ‘what colour is the sky’ and asking them to shout out the colours of things they were picking up. The fact that the little ones got to join in was lovely for us parents to watch.
After the show had finished we then got to go and meet the Elves and they asked the children to tell them what they would like Santa to bring as a present for Christmas. Reid told the Elves that he would just like presents… which they said they would pass on to Santa (as you can imagine, that helps ‘Santa’ out so much!). He then posed for a photo and said bye to Elfie and Elf. He came out of the room really excited and jumping around. He said, I had a very good day mummy! So he really must have enjoyed it.
I would recommend taking your little ones to this event if you are near to Durham. It is one of the few Christmas events aimed at just very little children and even fully booked isn’t too packed and unbearable. It is also a really nice happy show that will put a smile on children’s faces and also something the parents can enjoy seeing their children take part in. I would recommend getting there a little bit beforehand to get the best seats/spot on the floor, however there is plenty of room for everyone.
Find out more about the show online including dates and times, you can book your tickets on there too.