On Friday we were invited to the launch of the Big Imaginations Children's Theatre Festival at Media City.
It was a lovely event, full of fun activities for the children from dressing up to dancing and making music, as well as arts and crafts that included making colourful crowns and badges. The children loved it and were fascinated by the theatre artists that were walking around in character Although I have to admit that the highlight for me was chatting to the lovely Ben Faulks (aka mummy 'eye candy' Mr Bloom!)
The launch kicked off the first ever children's Theatre festival in the North West, which features over 150 events at 28 venues across the region and runs until 3rd November, so is perfect if you are looking for something different to entertain the children over half term.
The Big Imaginations Festival is part of the nationwide Family Arts Festival and celebrates brilliant children's theatre. From the classic showdown between the Hare and the Tortoise and a re-imagining of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night to the world's first projection-mapped pop up book and the spine-tingling terror of Spooky Tales, the festival showcases the best in children's theatre and fires the imaginations of young ones - from toddling two-year-olds to sophisticated pre-teens.
“Our aim is to bring the very best theatre to local venues at an affordable price to excite, amaze and enchant children with a life-long love of theatre,” says Liz O’Neill, CEO Z-arts, a lead partner of Big Imaginations. “We are incredibly excited to present this two-week celebration of theatre created especially for kids. Local children from the ages of two to twelve will be able to see beloved literature spring to life, visit lonely moons, meet spellbinding puppets and brave spooky tales of things that go bump in the night!”And if you're worried that your younger ones may struggle to sit through a performance, do not fear, children will be invited to take an interactive role in shows, strut their stuff in an onstage fashion show, meet and chat to performers and puppets, keep their hands busy in special workshops and even play musical instruments and kitchen utensils! Children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing will also be catered for - four performances of the enchanting production Luna will be accompanied by signing in British Sign Language.
There are a number of venues across the North West region including Z-arts in Manchester, Waterside in Sale, The Edge in Chorlton, The Atkinson in Southport, The Brindley in Runcorn, Burnley Youth Theatre, The Unity in Liverpool, The Citadel St Helens, The Boo in East Lancs and the Dukes and Live at LICA in Lancaster.
Ticket prices vary depending on show and location, but they are considerably less that I would usually pay to take my children to a show, so if you are looking for an affordable and exciting family activity over the next two weeks, what are you waiting for? Find out what's on near you...