Reviewed by Nicola Flynn
My husband and I kept our Sunday outing to the Singing Kettle a surprise from the kids for fear of being woken up at the crack of dawn with “is it time yet? Is it time yet?!” The kids (3 and 5) are regulars at the Singing Kettle’s Christmas performances at the Howden Park Centre in Livingston, however their Summer themed show at the larger, grander Festival Theatre in Edinburgh was bound to send them over the edge (earplugs packed). We decided to make the most of the forecast dry day (there are a few now and then in Scotland!) and travel into Edinburgh by the recently launched Tram service. We parked the car at the Ingliston Park and Ride, purchased a family day pass for £7.50 and waited on the next tram; not a long wait as a fresh and shiny tram appears every 15 minutes! Kids were very excited and probably would have been quite happy if our excursion had ended there and then!
We managed to keep our final destination under wraps until we arrived outside the Festival Theatre. Hoards of mini spidermen, fairies, hulks and princesses squealed and chanted ‘Singing Kettle, Singing Kettle!’ – the gig was up! It was clearly going to be a highly charged show! We made our way inside and took our seats and waited for the fun to begin.
Loud, cheerful music played as huge coloured balls were bounced up into the air; as we were sitting in the dress circle, not many made it up to that height (late night World Cup watching for some of the dad’s or maybe all those Father’s Day Pancakes draining their energy reserves). The music finally stopped, the curtains opened and the Fantastic Funfare got underway!
The Singing Kettle is a well-oiled machine (well, as much as it can be with scores of hyper pre-schoolers and mortified action mimicking parents), bringing loud and colourful action songs that even the tiniest of toddlers can join in with. My two in particular absolutely loved the Funfare themed songs and joined in at every opportunity. Anya, Kevin and Gary really engaged the kiddies and jumped about the stage with boundless energy until the last minute of the performance. Shouts, giggles and much laughter could be heard as they introduced some new characters to the Singing Kettle line up; Giant talking coconut, Mr Strongman and the Ghost Train Ghostie! and of course, it wouldn’t be The Singing Kettle without their famous ditty; Spout, handle, lid of metal, what’s inside the Singing Kettle!
We had a great afternoon and left the theatre with smiles on our faces and songs stuck in our heads (loop the loop, wheeeeeee, loop the loop, wheeeeeee, on the roller coaster ride!). We will definitely be back when the gang return to town over the festive period. A must see for all small children; a kettletastic day for all the family!
The Singing Kettle shows are touring until 5 October 2014. For more information and tour dates visit www.singingkettle.com.
Festival Theatre. 13-29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9FT | 0131 529 6000