Mellow Mummy: One Snowy Night at Norden Farm, Maidenhead : Taking life as it comes...

Monday, 30 November 2015

One Snowy Night at Norden Farm, Maidenhead

Yesterday I took the girls to Norden Farm theatre and centre for the arts in Maidenhead to see One Snowy Night - a theatrical adaptation of one of Nick Butterworth's tales of Percy the Parkeeper. It was a really magical way to get our festive season off to a start and it was Holly's first real theatre experience.  She loved it!

In fact, we all did.  One Snowy Night is a perfect introduction to the theatre for children and is probably best suited to children from 3-6 years old.  At only 55 minutes long, it is short enough that even the smallest members of the audience can concentrate for the full show.  Holly got a bit fidgety towards the end but she was enjoying the music so much that she was stood up from her seat hopping along to the tunes.

The story of the show is a beautiful tale about the animals from Percy's park all feeling the cold from the very snowy night - they seek solace in Percy's hut.  It is a soft, tender tale but presented in a fun, engaging way.

Both Lara and Holly loved the musical numbers which feature throughout the show - they seemed most taken with a silly ode to the humble sandwich!

One of the things that really struck me about the show was that it was real theatre - not panto and certainly not dumbed down for the tiny audience. Myself and Mr. B. were very impressed by the clever stage management which features two cast members (other than Percy himself) who are there to help the story unfold.  Both Lara and Holly are still talking about how the piece of the park hedgerow magically fell off in front of Percy as he trimmed them, even though they both know and understand that it was the cast members who made this happened.  It was just so cleverly done, and the sign of a good stage performance.

The entire second half of the show is filled with all of Percy's cuddly animal friends.  Quite how the cast managed to remember which accent they were supposed to use for each animal is beyond me.  Each animal (or set of animals) had its own strong character.  Lara enjoyed the fluffy squirrel whose tail tickled everyone.  Holly enjoyed the cheeky fox who stole all the biscuits.

One Snowy Night is showing at Norden Farm in Maidenhead, Berkshire from now until the end of December.  A family ticket costs £45.  We thought the intimate location really added to the family-friendliness of the event and the girls both enjoyed searching for Percy's animals who are hidden throughout the arts centre.

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