I adore the theatre – one of my favourite things about living in London is the massive range of shows and performances on offer. I try and get out to the theatre as often as I can (and as often as my bank balance will let me!). It’s been a real pleasure discovering quite how much is on offer for children – and an even bigger joy seeing my pair grow to love seeing live performance. So I was thrilled to be invited to take Alex and Sophie to see the first ever stage adaptation of Quentin Blake’s picture book Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave by Ga Ga Theatre. Here’s one of the gorgeous illustrations of Mrs Armitage and her faithful dog, Breakspear on their adventure!
On Saturday morning, we headed over to the Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford for the performance not sure what to expect. I was fascinated to see how the production could make a show lasting an hour from a very short illustrative book – and whether my pair would be captivated for that long.
I needn’t have worried – they were completely engrossed in the story and didn’t fidget or whine at all! It was an incredibly creative approach, making the most of the glorious Quentin Blake illustrations with some clever projections that really brought the book into the theatre. Sophie and Alex thought it was hilarious – they loved the funny interludes and songs which departed from the core story and explored elements in more detail. It was all completely believable for them.
Alex’s hand shot up when Mrs Armitage looked for some help from the audience, so he was invited up on stage to help her blow up an inflatable desert island! He said that was his favourite moment in the show (that and the bit involving seagull poo!)!
Alex (6) and Sophie (nearly 4) were the perfect age for the show. Here’s Alex pretending to be a very hot breakspear the dog, panting in the heat:
(As an aside, the Watermans Arts Centre is clearly a fab place – we had a quick explore around the mini gallery before the show and were so impressed with the brilliant work on display, all created by children! – and the list of forthcoming productions is so tempting. Plus, there’s a yummy smelling Indian tandoori restaurant inside – doesn’t get much better!)
On Saturday evening, Alex and Sophie were still talking about Mrs Armitage, so they cuddled up together in Alex’s bed and he read it to his sister! So cute! I think it’ll become a regular for us!
Big thanks to the Ga Ga Theatre team and Hands On PR for inviting us to experience Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave. They are touring locations around London until 30th October. Locations include Royal Albert Hall, Jacksons Lane Highgate and various Picturehouse venues. Book tickets here.
All views are our own.