18 September to 4 October 2014
Reviewed by Tracey Flintham and Erin (2)
The York Theatre Royal is in an easily accessible location with many bus stops and car parks close by. We parked in Bootham Row car park and, although quite pricey, it was a very convenient 2 minute walk to the theatre. If you were attending an evening show the car park price would be a fixed rate of £2.
On arriving at the theatre, the box office was easily located and the staff member helpfully directed us to where we could pick up our tickets. We were then greeted by another member of staff who handed us our tickets and an activity sheet, relating to the performance, to colour in and with a little information about the production and the actors/actresses in the show.
We were informed 5 minutes before the production was due to start so we made our way to the Studio, where we were directed to our seats. The stage area was set out on the floor with a central position and 3 sided seating around the stage set. There were only 3 rows of seating which gave it a personal feel so it wasn’t too intimidating for the smaller children, especially as it was light with comfortable seating. There was some background music playing which stopped the children from getting bored and the 3 actors were talking to the audience and interacting from the outset.
The performance started promptly at 1.30pm and the 3 actors who had been mingling with the audience, in character, bounced onto the stage set. The show started with a catchy song which gained the children’s attention and then the actors set the story for the play. The set was a ‘Museum of Forgotten Things’ and the actors set about telling the story of the Princess and the Pea. The story was broken down into chapters with the actors announcing each chapter. Each part of the play was filled with lots of music and interaction with the audience which kept the children’s attention. The girls in the audience were especially excited when the Prince was trying to find his real Princess! The 3 actors were all very talented and played the parts wonderfully, changing characters several times in the production. The script was well written for children and they had remembered to include jokes for the adults to keep them entertained as well.
At the end of the production, as we were leaving, the 3 cast members were waiting outside to give the audience some stickers and activity sheets which continued with the interaction that had occurred during the show.
There was a cafe within the theatre which was serving an assortment of homemade cakes, buns, pies and an assortment of cooked dinners. As they were catering for children, they had also put on a special “Princess and the Pea” children’s menu which was reasonably priced at £2-£3 and adult hot meals were around the £7 price. I hadn’t realised they would be serving food but I would definitely try the food on another occasion as what I saw looked to be of good quality.
Although the production was aimed for 3 years plus, my 2 year old thoroughly enjoyed the experience. She was clapping along, cheering and interacting with the actors. As the production was only 60 minutes long it was a perfect theatre experience for her. We had a fantastic visit to the York Theatre Royal, the production was brilliant and lots of fun. I would recommend this to anyone with pre-school and primary school age children.
Tickets cost £6 for children, £10 for adults (£1 transaction fee per booking).
The Princess and the Pea is at the York Theatre Royal until 4 October 2014. Performances are at 11am and 1.30pm. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01904 623568.
York Theatre Royal, St. Leonard’s Place, York, YO1 7HD | 01904 623568