There’s something so comforting about sitting in a darkened room on a Saturday morning, listening to tales written by one of your favourite children’s authors.
Rudyard Kipling’s poetic phrasing, unique diction and exotic imagination are showcased to perfection in his Just So Stories, charmingly brought to life by a small theatre troupe at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington.
Ever wonder how the crab got his pincers? Or why the elephant’s trunk is so long?
You’ll find out in this adventurous production of five stories about the ‘beginning of the beginning’ told with words, music and an ingenious use of props.
We sat on the front row benches in the Pleasance’s airy theatre, as the babes seemed happier there.
Although I’d have liked to cosy up in the Snuggle Pit, a haven of throws, cushions and soft toys set up by the foot of the stage.
The play’s aimed at ages 4 and upwards, yet the audience included many younger siblings like Jed, who kept shifting from the seat to my lap. At times, he claimed he was scared (there’s nothing actually scary, but for very little ones sometimes live theatre can be unsettling). However by the end, he was clapping and cheering with the rest of us.
It’s a credit to this company that they could hold the attentions of young children for an hour and a half, using language that’s not your average CBeebies chatter. Every now and then I’d scan the faces of the kids and they were rapt throughout.
Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories is a lovely production and a wonderful introduction to the creator of the Jungle Book among other children’s classics.
Just So Stories runs at Pleasance Theatre, North Rd, Islington N1
until Apr 25. Shows at 11.30am & 1.30pm, £10/£7 concs.
On the Spot
Jenny Wilson and son JJ, aged 3 and three quarters
‘I thought it was brilliant, very inventive and also fast-paced so the kids didn’t get bored. I liked the snuggle pit and the fact I didn’t feel awkward about him shouting out or going up to the stage. The actors were very good with the kids, and the singing was lovely.’
JJ adds, ‘My favourite was the whale, because it had a fish in his mouth.’
The kind folks at the Pleasance have offered us 2 adult and 2 child tickets to give away to one of our lovely readers. NB: This contest is only eligible for Babes about Town subscribers.
To enter simply send an email with the subject heading Just So Stories and a message letting us know that you subscribe via Facebook, Twitter, RSS or email or that you would like to be added to our mailing list.
Closing date is Apr 20 at 12pm GMT. Good luck!
Update: This competition is now closed. Congrats to our winner, Giles!