As a child, the theatre was a place reserved for very special occasions: the local pantomime for my sister's birthday, the ballet at Christmas and as we got older, the West End. My children have only been a handful of times, mainly because they are only just reaching a suitable age to sit through an entire performance.
When we were offered tickets to see a special performance for children at The Polka Theatre in Wimbledon, I jumped at the chance. We have never visited this particular theatre before, although I have heard many positive things about it. I knew that this would be a perfect introduction to theatre, particularly for my 9 year old boy.
We were offered 4 tickets to see the matinee show of Minotaur (right up The Boy's street) so I invited my sister and The Boy's cousin (also 9) to join us.
Minotaur is described as:
'A dark and gripping high stakes adventure, especially for 8-14 year olds.'
The unusual fusion of a modern-day war story with Greek mythology, left us adults a little confused in places. Thanks to the Key Stage 2 national curriculum, the boys seemed decidedly unfazed - Greek Mythology is clearly on the rise! In my limited experience, it is unusual to find children's theatre at this level of professionalism - the performance had all four of us gripped from start to finish. It was mystical, captivating and extremely well acted. The set design was simple yet effective and the sound effects, along with the elaborate costumes, added to the intensity of the performance.
We concluded that it had just the right level of fear and intrigue, well-suited to this age group. Being only just over an hour long, it was the perfect length to keep this junior audience on the edge of their seats. The Boy being one of few words, merely said "It was good!" but his enthused cousin went into a little more detail:
"It was really good, I liked everything about it but especially when Ariadne stabbed the minotaur!"
Both boys proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon re-enacting this particular scene. Whilst slightly inappropriate for the changing rooms of UNIQLO on Wimbledon High Street, it demonstrated that 'Minotaur' had clearly made a huge impression on these two young reviewers.
But don't just take our word for it...
Minotaur is showing at The Polka Theatre, Wimbledon until 24th May 2014 with tickets being priced at £13.50. For more information, please contact the box office on 020 8543 4888 or visit the Polka Theatre website.
Disclosure: We were given 4 tickets to the press performance of Minotaur, at the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon.