Seeing her first ‘show’

When you have a baby the months are filled with ‘firsts’. The first time they smile. The first time they sit up unaided. Their first solid food… the list goes on and on. Its all quite an adventure. But as they get older the ‘one-off’ events become fewer and turn into first experiences as opposed to first actions.
But last friday we had a real ‘first’ for the little lady… her first trip to the theatre to watch a show.
Now before you get any grand ideas, she’s not yet three, so this wasn’t to watch an Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, nope, I kept it local and kept it fun: we went to see Mrs McMoon’s Tea Party at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead.
Mrs Mcmoon's Tea Party and me, Maidenhead Mum

Striking a pose with Mrs McMoon

Introducing my main characters.

To help tell the story of this little adventure I shall introduce two other ‘main characters’ that joined us… my folks, otherwise known as Poppa Pete and Nanny Jean!
poppa and nanny
They live up in Birmingham (lesser known fact: I’m a Brummie gal at heart!) so we don’t get to see them every week, but when they do come down it’s always nice to mark the occasion with something a little fun for Anya to have lots of memories of. (Oh, and my Mum has been desperate to take her to a pantomime for the last 12 months!)
As this was her first show, and she doesn’t have the attention span to sit through a movie yet, I was intrigued to see how the little lady would react. Would she sit through the whole show? Would she be intimidated by the environment? And at just 2 and 11 months (just under the recommened age of 3+) would she understand what was happening? (Perhaps I over think things as a Mum!)

Before the show

Before we went we showed her the trailer on the Norden Farm website and explained that we were going to see Mrs McMoon and she seemed to understand that, and we looked at as many pictures as we could find online (although there aren’t that many).
Arriving at Norden Farm was an experience too – it was the busiest I’ve seen it as they have an action packed scehdule for the Easter Holidays. There was also a sea of blue of little girls in Elsa dresses, arrving for the Frozen sing-along. I waited for the little lady to comment – I haven’t allowed her a princess outfit… yet! But she seemed a bit stunned by it all. She went very quiet and went into her ‘silent observer mode’.
Tickets for Mrs Mcmoon's Tea Party

Exciting times, tickets to our first ‘show’

I picked up the tickets from the Box Office and we attempted a family photo. Haha. Kids just know don’t they? When you really want something at that moment, THEY KNOW. So she refused to smile or take part, but hey, I took the photo anyway!
Mrs Mcmoon's Tea Party

Note the ‘middle distance stare’ from the little one!

Mrs Mcmoon’s Tea Party begins

Going into the theatre I was pleased to see that it was a compact size so she wouldn’t feel too scared, and there were other little ones, some having a look at the set on stage. It certainly felt very child friendly. We took our seats and she made sure to hold Poppa’s hand… or to sit on my lap. She wasn’t really sure of what would happen next!
As the show began and Mrs McMoon came on stage, I still wasn’t sure if the little lady would understand it and she seemed so clingy. But, as Mrs McMoon began telling her story and counting the audience she burst out in giggles. One simple little gesture from Mrs McMoon she found particularly hilarious. There was a good variety of characters and the short scenes were a great way to help keep the little one’s attention.
Anya was gripped and looked genuinely sad when the characters stole Mrs McMoon’s biscuits! My folks and I were laughing just watching her reactions.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the show as its fun to experience first hand, but its bright, vibrant, and Mrs McMoon handles all of the ‘heckling’ from the kids really well. You’re encouraged to shout out, join in, get up and dance and even to have a biscuit! The great thing about it is that all of the age ranges there seemed to be laughing along and having fun, grown-ups too.
All in all, a perfect first show for her to watch although I may have to explain to her that not ALL shows at the theatre are so interactive and fun as this!

Audience Feedback

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But don’t just take my word for it. I thought I’d ask the other lead characters in this story to see what they thought of Mrs McMoon’s Tea Party:
Nanny Jean:
I really enjoyed myself. For me it was all about watching Anya’s reaction and Mrs McMoon kept her enthralled all the way through – she was completely gripped. I even thought she might cry at one point she was so into it! Plus it was handy being so close to home as we were soon home for a quick bite to eat before the afternoon nap.
Poppa Pete:
(my Dad got quite into threatre critic mode!)

Being over 6ft 2 inches tall, I always approach small venues trepidation, but this fear was quickly forgotten as Mrs Mcmoon invited everyone to be a apart of her show. Her humoour, pace and impromptu rapport with the junior audience was great. They were totally enthralled and very enthusiastic and this was much appreciated by the mums, dads and grandparents in the audience. I thought it was a very professional and well thought out show that was easily understood by all ages. Anya is already talking about meeting Mrs Mcmoon again and her name has cropped up a couple of times in our our little chats over the weekend. Its a great show for a family group, and if there was ever a part 2 or 3 I’d definitely go again.

Anya:
OK, so it’s unlikely I’m going to get a full review from her but since Friday on numerous occasions she’s been saying:
‘Can we go and see Mrs Moon again? Can we? See Mrs Moooooon?
She can’t quite get the fact that its Mrs McMoon… and she thinks it’s a new friend to go and visit!
Kind of says it all really doesnt it!

About this post

I was supplied tickets for this show in return for reviewing my experiences on the blog. As with all reviews on the Maidenhead Mum blog I like to give a fair and honest appraisal.

What else you need to know

You can find out more about the Mrs McMoon show (which tours around theatres) on her Facebook page  or on her website.
The show was on at Norden Farm on the 9th and 10th April, although you can also catch it in London in May, full details of the tour dates can be found on their website.
Although this show has finished, Norden Farm still has an action packed schedule for the last week of the Easter holidays (details here) and often has family friendly shows like this throughout the year.

About me:

Thanks for reading my post. I use my Maidenhead Mum blog to talk about all things relevant to life in and around Maidenhead. If this is the first time you’ve read my blog, you might like to subscribe by email to get posts delivered straight to your inbox, or if you pop over to ‘like’ my Facebook page you can keep updated that way too.

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