Review - Children's Theatre: Goblin's Peter & The Wolf

The ever reliable Arts Centre plays host to this musical adventure, with shows until Dec 31st

While we all love a good pantomime at this time of year (and the Mercury's casting in recent years is absolute comedy gold), it would be a shame if that is the only time we take our kids to the theatre. Luckily we Colcestrians have a gem of a resource in the Colchester Arts Centre, which has an eclectic kids programme throughout the year including music, puppetry, mime and dance.

This year's Christmas offering is Peter & The Wolf, by children's theatre company Goblin, renowned for its productions featuring original music and crazy creativity. It takes inspiration from Prokofiev's original masterpiece, with animals represented by different instruments and rhythms, and the character of Peter creating music on a loop pedal, which works particularly well to capture the imagination of the youngsters.

There are lots of lovely details in this show which children respond to; the snoring Grandad in his tent, the duck fashioned from a kettle, the rapping wolf, who is just misunderstood. The story moves along at a nice pace and the actors seem genuinely to be having fun themselves.

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There's just enough audience participation to keep the children engaged and a funky rap about sweet potatoes! What more could you ask for?! While my ten-year-old was a little sceptical at first, she succumbed to the charm of the show, and the slightly younger children in the audience assured me afterwards that they loved it. 

This show is just the right length to feel that you've had value for money without the kids starting to get antsy, and the help-yourself biscuits, squash and tea & coffee for a small donation is a great idea. No worries about littlies having rumbly tummies during the performance and no caffiene withdrawal for the mums and dads!

Goblin's Peter and The Wolf runs daily, morning and afternoon, until New Year's Eve (excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Tickets are available from the Colchester Arts Centre, online or at the Box Office.