Our trip to Charlie and Lola's Best Bestest Play was absolutely and completely totally brilliant!
I have this little toddler Bambi, he is small and very funny. Today we went all the way to actual London to see a play.
We set off bright and early on a commuter train to Paddington, bound for the Southbank Centre's ImagineFest. I was excited about a 'day out' and seeing the play (I'm obsessed with children's theatre!) But for Bambi there were 3 especially brilliant things about the day.
1. We were going on an actual and real life train.
2. Daddy and Baby Duck were NOT coming with us. (We do ever so love them, but a day on our own was a-MAZING!)
3. We were going to PADDINGTON station. As in: Paddington bear would definitely be there.
... Oh. Umm... About that. Are we all clear the ACTUAL bear won't be there?
Thank goodness for a kind lady who overheard this awkward convo we were having on the train and tapped me on the shoulder to tell me about the Paddington Bear statue. Total life saver!
|The train is going to be yellow and Paddington will be there.|
When we got to the Southbank Centre there were children EVERYWHERE but it was very well staffed and fully set up for this onslaught of minors. There were wristbands everywhere for you to attach your phone number to your offspring, (mine wouldn't wear his so I wrote it on his arm) and huge spaces for buggy parking in every building.
We were shown to our seats by a super cute child steward, a beautifully spoken 10 year old boy wearing a 'proper' staff t-shirt with the phrase "ask me for help- I'm in charge" written on his back. He was adorable!
And then the show...
Charlie and Lola's Best Bestest Play was exactly as good as its self description.
It was sweet and funny and totally entrancing. My two and a half year old barely moved for the duration, except when encouraged to by the performers. Specifically we checked under our seats for ogres (there were none) and danced with some dancing dogs!
The whole show was done with puppets and lovely (very 'obvious') puppeteers who managed to be invisible and right there interacting with the puppets at different times.
Before going to see something like this I would have been concerned that kids would be confused or put off by puppeteers on stage, but they are not at all! Children just get swept along with the magic of the show (growns ups too).
My favourite bits were the way the puppeteers stuck new mouths on Charlie and Lola for their "shocked" or "cross" faces. (So swiftly and subtly done that I'd put money on the fact no one under 5 even noticed!)
The bubbles and butterflies falling from the sky! Every parent in the world knows that bubbles falling from the sky is about as exciting to a toddler as bubbles being poured into a glass is for adults.
The imaginative use of props and set. There were so many little touches that made me smile, like the 'splashes' the whales made and Lola's eyes closing at bedtime.
After the show we just HAD to buy a Lola doll, who came to Wagamamas (which is amazing for small kids by the way!) and got her own wristband in case SHE got lost!
Then we spent the rest of the day exploring Royal Festival Hall: listening to a live orchestra; getting face paints (a sparkly lion in case you were wondering); playing in teeny tiny Alice in Wonderland houses and eating ice creams in February!
We had a totally and extremely fantastic day out. Thanks to the Southbank Centre for giving us tickets to the Charlie and Lola show. I gladly parted with my own hard earned cash for wagamamas, the beloved Lola doll, ice creams and face painting. All opinions expressed are my own.