15-16 October 2016
Reviewed by Rebecca Banasko
I visited The Lowry to watch Aleena’s Garden with my 20 month old girl. She’s a great observer and will join in once she’s comfortable so I was really looking forward to her experiencing it. The show was to take part in the studio, which, when we entered was set up in two halves. One was very green with canopies and flooring with the stage set with wooden trestles and plant pots. The other half was set up with mats for little ones to sit on and colour.
We were handed a brown paper bag and told it contained our flower and we could go and colour in before the show started. My daughter wanted to go and explore the staged area but once I mentioned the colouring she was convinced to stay on the mats before we were invited to go and sit around the stage and make ourselves comfortable. So shoes removed and cuddled up we waited to see Aleena enter the stage.
Aleena took us around her garden, she signed as she spoke in a really soft and clear voice. She introduced sensory experiences and appeared to do ‘magic’ which the older children loved. I think my 4 year old son would have equally enjoyed it. Led from summer, witnessing the flowers blossom and interacting with the activities within the garden. The contents of our paper bags meant that we could all play a part.
The sensory aspects of the show were excellent including touch, lighting, music and smell. My daughter particularly enjoyed the squirrel and the bumble bees. The show itself was only about half an hour, which was just the right amount of time for that age group. Aleena then came out afterwards and interacted with all the children, doing more magic tricks and talking to them about the flowers and garden animals. She was great and made sure she spoke with every child. They were obviously all fascinated with her and she had a great skill for keeping their attention.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to parents with young children, I even found the show really relaxing but I loved watching my daughters face as she took in the flowers growing. The clouds and the star was a favourite when the lights were dimmed. This gets a 5/5 from me and my daughter.
Tickets cost from £5.50 to £8.50
Aleena’s Garden is at The Lowry in Manchester until 16 October 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000