I probably say it every year, there really is good reason, but if you are eager to introduce your little ones to the theatre, or if you just really just want to give your toddlers something magical this Christmas, and suspect they are too young for the theatre- get them to the Sherman!
We moved home four years ago, and I think we’ve enjoyed the Sherman’s Christmas performance for younger children every year. There was even one year where practically in tears on Christmas Eve I phoned to say we wouldn’t be able to make the performance, and the wonderful team at the box office phoned back later to confirm (as we hadn’t picked up our ticket) they had managed to resell our tickets due to the waiting list, and we bought tickets for the following week.
And so, of course I was so excited that this year Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Princess and the Pea‘ is Katherine Chandler’ adaptation, a wonderful fairytale for an audience so eager to be enchanted.And whilst I wondered what would take the place of the ‘honk’ which has accompanied our year since Christmas 2014’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’ I needn’t have worried, we now seem to think saucepans are to catch the drip drops of water I am constantly hearing when my children are nearby.
And that is the wonder of the Sherman, so many moments stay in a child’s mind. And from the moment we stepped foot into the wonderful open space of the studio I lost my children.
The boys were welcomed and settled on the mats, with the three actors already in character the attention of the little people was taken. Although there was a little confusion for them whether ‘it’ had started yet, but when ‘it’ did the wonderful hush of the theatre fell.
Gethin Alderman transformed into a convincing Prince, seemingly anyone in regular clothes a regality became him as the story unfolded, Jenny Livsey is entirely convincing as Queen, with a commanding respect, and think there was a want to dislike her for being mean to the Princess, but it was never quite mean enough and she remained a protective mother first and foremost.As for the Princess, all three of mine were besotted by Ceri Elen. We all loved the transformation as the myriad of princesses were brought before the Prince. We loved the real princess, we laughed at the food fight, but most of all we were in awe of the mattresses. All twenty! And to be able to feel a pea amongst them all- well, my three were hook, line and sinker.The Sherman makes for a great venue to young children, not only the welcoming foyer with so much adventure to be found, but the theatre itself, that mats are laid out and chairs for older children and adults, that no-one really minds if your child looks round for you, so you join them on the mats, and most that the theatre-in-the round setting allows this to happen, the space is not only perfect for the play but perfect for families.
It goes without saying that anyone with a love of fairy tales should try to get to the Sherman, this year and every year. There are many wonderful family memories ready to be created.
The Princess and The Pea is at the Sherman until 2nd January 2016 with tickets available online and at the Box Office on 029 20
Disclosure: We received complementary tickets for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views contained are our own.