Something for the Little Ones

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“Children need the arts as much as they need fresh air.” 

                                           –Philip Pullman

May I introduce Thing 1 and Thing 2 to you.

We all know that children make the harshest critics – they are never shy in asking, “Is it nearly finished?” and “How much longer is it going to go on for?” They fidget, squirm and become restless if they are watching something which doesn’t grab them or something which they find boring.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

                                                                           –Dr Seuss

Thing 1 (9) and Thing 2 (5 going on 45) are experienced theatre goers and they love the arts. In the past, when I have written my reviews for children’s theatre – I have taken them along to watch many of the different productions and I have always asked their opinion afterwards so that I can reflect a child’s perspective in my write up (they do come out with some cracking quotes). Sometimes Thing 1 will attempt to write his own review after he has seen something which has really impressed him and Thing 2 will always pick out a good narrative and try to describe it to others.

Thing 1 attends a drama school on a Saturday – last summer he took direction, learnt complicated dance routines and attempted to make sense of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for a production. As his mother and a strong supporter of children and the arts, I believe that sometimes he learns more skills from his creative experiences outside of formal education than he does when he is being spoon fed government standards in the classroom. His favourite production so far has been ballet LORENT’s Rapunzel.

Thing 2 is a very sharp character, he is a little bit like Mike Teavee from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. He loves superheroes, football and his big brother and he still talks about the time he went to see Billy, the Monster and Me at The Lowry. He has an amazing concentration threshold, wicked memory recall and can summarise a production in just a couple of sentences.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 will be giving their thoughts and opinions on arts, activities and theatre for children in Manchester and they will award ‘Thing Stars’.

 – Can we watch it again? PLEASE!

 – It was really good!

 – Yeah, it was okay. What are we having for lunch?

 – I’m bored. Can I have an apple?

 – Can we go home! NOW!