Based on the award winning book by Mick Inkpen – the MAC are hosting a beautiful adaptation of this childrenâ€™s classic over the festive period this year. Bought to life by The Slot Machine Theatre this is a unique style of puppetry theatre which is a perfect introduction for little ones to live performance.
We were kindly invited to attend a performance this weekend and share our experience and what a wonderful time we had. Arlo is two and a half and at this age their attention span is fairly limited so attending a theatre performance is something you think on paper would not be suitable for a child – however he was mesmerised from start to finish. Fifty minutes was the perfect show length for us.
I had ordered the book from Amazon prior to the performance and we have been reading the book at bedtime to get Arlo used to the characters and the story before our outing on a suitably blustery Saturday evening. I also took along a scarf – many children attended our evening performance in onesies and PJâ€™s and there was a distinct buzz of excitement in the atmosphere before the show.
We arrived early and managed to find a parking spot quite close by and also had a browse at some craft stalls in the atrium, before heading to the bar area to enjoy a drink and a snack together before the show. The atmosphere was festive throughout the centre with various events taking place and beautiful warmly lit Christmas Tree and decorations on display.
The route to the theatre through the atrium was decorated with paw print stickers on the floor which was extremely fun for all of the little ones to follow and stomp along to and we took photos in the cut outs too.
The corridor outside the theatre was decorated with the most wonderful murals and illustrations from the book, Children were oooing and aaahhing at the characters and Arlo loved the little Robin most of all.
The tannoy announced the opening of the doors to the theatre and we found our way to our comfy seats fairly quickly. The stage was set – a mysterious huge white square raised in one corner and this helped set the scene through the performance, becoming the â€œBig Hill.â€
The tone was calm and soft throughout the show, which suited the story perfectly.The actors bought the puppets to life with songs and excellent voices which suited the characters perfectly. The songs were brand new and perfect for the performance, and Kipper had some wonderful dance moves too!
Itâ€™s fascinating to see children react to live theatre, with so many special effects on screens these days you wonder if visual concepts on stage will work or if they will say â€œitâ€™s a puppetâ€ – during the show I took a moment to look around the theatre and saw so many engaged little faces during the snow storm.
There were jokes for all ages, and audience participation when deciding how to decorate the top of the Christmas tree – for me however the best bit was seeing Arlo on the edge of his seat when one of his favourite characters was lost in the snow storm, and how relieved he was when they were found.
I really enjoyed the projected visuals of the snow angels – I canâ€™t wait for a snow day so that we can get out and about to make these just like Kipper…. but I know Iâ€™ll probably end up falling over like Tiger!
The performance was 50 minutes long which was perfect for us, and as Kipper curled up in his bed at the end of the show we felt relaxed and ready to head home for a hot chocolate before bedtime and Arlo has been insistent on wearing his scarf since we saw the show.
Kippers Snowy Day is showing at the Mac Theatre until 31at December. Click the link to purchase tickets.
Our tickets were kindly gifted to us, however all opinions expressed in this review are my own.