I love the Riverfront Theatre, the staff are always welcoming and the kids always enjoy the shows we see there (as do I!) and we were there again recently to see Whatever the Weather by the M6 Theatre Company.
We decided to have a bite to eat before the show started and the girls had the lunch box option with a sandwich each crisps and chocolate, I will say there seemed to be a bit less in there than usual and I might have appreciated a piece of fruit for them each as well to add a little balance, but lets be honest the girls were completely happy and ate it all so no complaints from them!
When we entered the studio (one of the last, as always), we found the lovely but simple set up that was waiting at the front for us, all lit up and ready, allowing the little children to adapt to the surroundings. I personally love this style of set up and think it works really well for small children. We saw a similar thing at the Ugly Ducking show at the Sherman Theatre.
So the show started and the plinky plonky music began with a little introduction, and so we met Mrs Sun and Mr Rain. Now the story progresses as you would expect, but the little details that keep appearing in front of us such as the tiny birds in the tree, the effect of rain falling from the lighting, the water coming down the drainpipe and the little hat on the deer gave the children something to look at all the way through, the wonderful expressions and enthusiasm from Mrs Sun and Mr Rain meant there was no need for words, a narrative would have been too much, sometimes less really is more. One of my daughters is having a little trouble hearing currently (glue ear) so this meant that the gentle music and the lack of narrative was brilliant for her, and also meant the smaller children in the audience seemed able to keep up with the whole story without any trouble.
Of course as the story progressed there were giggles and shouts of joy from the children, and the little voices asking questions are always sweet to hear. And as the tempo picked up, so the weather changed quickly, and the pair were rushing to put things back as they saw fit after the other one had changed it. This had all the children enthralled, I could barely look away myself with anticipation of what would happen. But ultimately as we all know arguing over small things ends up causing a silly big mess, Mr Rain and Mrs Sun had a dose of perspective when their little baby bird friend went missing in the chaos, and the room was silent as they searched for him… together… When he was found there was a sigh of relief, from the parents as well as children!
I think the moral of the story from Whatever the Weather was a very clear one, and the happy ending may have made my eyes leak slightly, so I can safely say it was a successful show, both my girls loved it too, and even though I think they were a bit older than the target audience they still talked about it for days afterwards.
As we we were leaving Mr Rain and Mrs Sun gave all the children a sticker and we even bought a copy of the Whatever the Weather book, which my youngest has read a fair few times since we saw the show, the story and illustrations are really wonderful.
Quote from my youngest that night-
Mummy I don’t really like TV any more, I really like it when we go and see the people do that acting, like the weather people who made me laugh, I love that the best!
Thank you to the M6 theatre company for entertaining myself and my children that afternoon, we all thoroughly enjoyed it and I always take my hat off to anyone who can keep a room full of small children, and their parents, entertained for that long and also making me feeling warm and fuzzy too was nice. Thank you Gilly Baskeyfield!
Also I couldn’t find the name of the actors who played Mr Rain and Mrs Sun but I want to congratulate them on a wonderful and seamless performance. I wish I could tell you all to go and watch this show but it’s very nearly finished (apart from in Wimbledon, polka theatre until the 18th I noticed) however keep an eye on what the M6 Theatre Company are doing, I certainly will be in the future.
The theatre for me was a real treat when I was a child and usually only ever happened at Christmas, but these shows aimed at young families really are special, and trust me there is no problem taking very small children from tiny babies to primary school children full of energy, there is just so much going on and the effects are usually brilliant, plus a lot of the time the shows are interactive and encourage a little shouting or singing here and there, so the children are engaged. These people really are professionals and a lot of time and effort goes into getting these shows spot on, I for one really appreciate that. If you aren’t sure about taking your little ones to one of the shows at the Riverfront, or any other theatre for that matter I would say give it a go, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Thanks for reading.
Did you see this show or others at the Riverfront? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.
Disclaimer- Tickets were provided for purpose of review.