Edinburgh Fringe 2012
A magician and a guitarist welcome us in to a full house. During the next hour or so we are treated to tricks and banter that, despite some of them being old hat, are presented in such a great way that we all, young and old are part of the party.
You know at Christmas, when you have spent all that money and the kid ends up just playing with the box? Well the I Hate Children Children’s Show is a bit like that. You see the magic was hardly new and the balloon animals old hat but the packaging!
They promise that this is a show that will be for all ages and so it is. I entered with my 14 year old and 4 year old in tow. Between them they were in charge of the day. First off we are in the Pleasance Courtyard for a show that was aimed at 8 year olds and over. If there was a test to their boast this was going to be it.
The humour was over my 4 year olds head but as soon as she got the chance to go up onstage she was sold. My 14 year old was just captured. The structure is seemingly chaotic but very organised with punch lines delivered with ease and unexpected turns accepted and with great expertise turned to their advantage. Even the kid who challenged them at the beginning became a running joke. His was slick children’s theatre that was never cutting edge but it cut to the chase and we had a great time.
The musical accompaniment will always make me love the show because it had it all – rock classics and riffs abound. There is even a CD for you to buy – how good could it get? The magic was well sold though it was magic we had seen many times before. The balloon animals was all about the banter and such rich vein it was. Cerys (my 4 year old) was second last to be given the animal but waited in line like a veteran. She was delighted to get her pink pig tail. She was even more delighted to get the balloon outside. I know because when she let it go, she was as devastated as a 4 year old can get!
That is the beauty of this show. It knows its audience and plays to it. All kids have a part to play – even some of the big ones and it was a delight to share their pleasure in the production. It was not a performance that needed silence though they were able to command attention when they needed it. To see Niamh (my 14 year old) out her seat and onstage was cracking. The ONLY one in our family not onstage at every given opportunity she was equally enthralled.
As always I pass to my children for thoughts before giving a view. Let’s be fair this was a performance that was delivered at the kids. They came out of there raving and bouncing. It was the theatrical equivalent of E numbers! Between the three of us there was only one verdict and that is why we would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who has children – real or imaginary – to take along!