One of these is Charlie & Lola. Maybe it’s the jaunty theme tune; maybe it’s the deliberately naive animation; maybe it’s the brilliant story lines or maybe it’s because big brother Charlie somehow manages to be wiser and more tolerant of his little sister Lola than any other parent ever.
Whatever the reason, when I heard that Charlie & Lola’s Extremely New Play was coming to the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale over the Christmas period, I jumped at the chance to get tickets. I did not regret it.
We’ve never been to the Waterside Arts Centre before. It’s a great family venue which really feels like it’s a big part of the community. The facilities are good, it’s easy to find and for once the refreshments are refreshingly cheap. We had drinks and snacks for three for just over £5, anywhere else would’ve easily charged double.
The play takes Charlie, Lola and friends on a magical journey through the changing of the seasons; where they discover that everything is different and not the same. A brilliant team of puppeteers bring puppet Charlie, puppet Lola and their puppet friends to life.
As the seasons change, Charlie and Lola together with their friends discover that they can’t fight change. The changing of the seasons is inevitable and there is always something wonderful or beautiful coming up next. The crisp brown leaves of autumn, the fluffy snow to build a snowman with and the glorious warm sunshine (remember that?).
During the performance, the audience were showered from above by tissue paper autumn leaves, foamy snowflakes, flying fish puppets and springtime bubbles. The children whirled and twirled trying to catch them and the lighting effects drew gasps of wonder from the audience.
It was brilliant. The boy was fascinated from start to finish and even we grown-ups enjoyed it. Sometimes “family” productions can be less engaging for parents, but this we loved. It’s telling that 24 hours after seeing the play and after meeting Father Christmas on a steam train, he is still talking about Charlie & Lola!
It runs until January 4th and it was so good we’re seriously thinking about going to see it again.
Read my other review for Mums & Dads Magazine here.
Disclaimer: I was sent free tickets for this production so I could review it for my blog and for Mums & Dads Magazine.