Special time with your pre-schoolers

What do you like to do with your pre-schoolers?
Play outside?
All of the above and more?
What about the theatre?
All of my children love the theatre. If it is good theatre even the youngest, most restless children can be captivated. 

THERE WAS AN OLDWOMAN is an immersive, interactive, promenade performance for children aged 3-5, their families, siblings and friends. 

There is a problem with shoes. They keep getting mixed up. That man has a welly on one foot but a fluffy slipper on the other. The woman over there is wearing a flip flop and a football boot. Some people don’t have shoes at all. What is going on?

And whatever does all of this have to do with the Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe and had so many children she didn’t know what to do? 

If you are looking for a multi-sensory journey through the sights, sounds, scents and textures of the Oily Cart Wonderland in the company of a live musician and all sorts of shoes…then this could be just the show for you.

The show is written by Tim Webb with costumes and design by Claire de Loon. Musical Director, Max Reinhardt has co-composed the music with Lewis Floyd Henry, who also performs on vocals, guitar and drums. 

The show begins in a small room, where all children are asked to sit on the floor and parents on chairs behind them. it is worth knowing this as this is not for everyone. After about 25 minutes the show continues in the main theatre.

What we loved:

  • This is a CLEVER show – a great deal of thought and effort has gone into making this suitable for pre-schoolers or those in reception classes.
  • The idea that this is centered around the old nursery rhyme is quite magical.
  • The fact that it is all about the shoes makes it funny and engaging
  • The singing and music were captivating
  • The small, intimate feel of the performance made it very different to anything we had been to before
  • The level of interaction with the children was fantastic
  • The ability of the cast to improvise based on children’s responses was impressive
  • The colours, textures and general appeal to the senses was a huge plus point about the show and for me the stand out factor

What we didn’t love quite so much:

  • There was some waiting around at the start and some uncertainty as to what was happening (this was down to the venue NOT the theatre company)
  • The small room was too small and very crowded and there were not enough chairs (again an issue for the venue more than anything)
  • It was a bit slow to get going
  • The doors were left open to the corridor which made it very distracting for younger children and meant they were less engaged

To get a chance to see this performance, take a look at the tour dates below.

*please note we saw the performance at Theatre Clwyd so the above comments regarding the venue are unlikely to apply to other venues*

13th – 17th February 2015
Warwick Arts Centre, CoventryBox office 024 7652 4524 Website
20th – 31st January 2015
Clwyd Theatr Cymru, MoldBox office 0845 330 3565 Website
3rd – 7th February 2015
Gulbenkian, KentBox office 01227 769075 Website
10th – 14th February 2014
Minerva Theatre, ChichesterBox office 01243 781312 Website

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