We are now over half way through the Summer holidays, and I’m sure lots of mums like me are looking for activities that are a little bit different to entertain the kids. Well have you considered taking them to your local theatre? We were lucky enough to be invited to a performance of ‘Babe, The Sheep-Pig‘ the week before last at the Mercury theatre in the historic town of Colchester, Essex and it was fantastic.
I have very fond memories of the Mercury Theatre, having seen several pantomines there as a child. I was pleasantly surprised returning there after several years. It’s had some what of a ‘spruce up’and the inside was modern, clean and airy. In the foyer they had colouring in activities and the kids liked trying on the masks before the show and started getting into the swing of things.
I always worry about taking Oliver to things like this, as he tends to have a short attention span. However, as we walked into the auditorium and saw the beautiful and colourful set on stage his little face lit up. The main auditorium is large enough to create a sense of atmosphere, but small enough to feel like you’re part of the production.
‘Babe, The Sheep-Pig’ is based on the book by Dick King-Smith, which was also a big hit on the big screen in 1995. The kids were hooked from the start. The story is about ‘Babe’ a little pig that finds himself being adopted by ‘Fly’, farmer Hoggett’s faithful sheep dog. He wiggles his way into everyone’s heart and turns his destiny from becoming bacon rashers to being the first ever Sheep-pig.
The actors very cleverly protrayed the different animals on the farm and other characters in the story. They were able to take on the facial expressions and mannerisms of the animals, which made it a very believable performance. Very clever, but also very amusing especially for the kids. Oliver laughed out loud when the cockerel appeared at the top of the farmhouse to annouce morning!
Babe the sheep-pig himself was puppet, controlled and narrated by one of the actors. It didn’t take long before you were looking at the pig and not the actor, and the way that they were able to express emotion in the pigs face was amazing.
The whole play was really well thought out and the kids (and myself) thoroughly enjoyed it. I particularly liked that at the end of the performance we were able to go onto the stage and meet all the characters, have photos taken with them and see it all close up.
‘Babe, The Sheep-Pig’ is a great family show, perfect if you’re looking for something a little bit different to do this summer holiday and myself and the kids would highly recommend it.
Babe, The Sheep-pig is on till 26th August, and the shows are at family friendly times. To find out more and to book tickets, visit the Mecury Theatres website.
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Disclaimer: We were gifted the tickets to see Babe, THe Sheep-Pig at the Mercury Theatre, but all words and opinions are my own.