Take your kids seats please…

January 26, 2010 | By More

By Thom Dibdin
Taking young C to see the Singing Kettle last week was a real eye-opener. It was the first time we’d gone alone to the theatre – without her mother – and I was slightly nervous about being able to take the whole show in without being distracted.

No problems there, though. Despite being totally nonplussed by the experience during the opening act, C was right into it come the second half.

Initial tears as the lights went down and the curtain didn’t come up for ages were quickly abated when she saw the big bright set. It’s a reminder that the wee ones don’t really get anticipation. Simple wonderment is enough.

Theatregoing with wee ones is not just an adventure, it’s an expedition. So I was somewhat satisfied to have got there on time, with a half-time snack and C’s personal booster seat on my back. So we could take the instruction to “take your seats please” for the start of the performance quite literally.

Looking round the auditorium at all the kids stuck right down in their seats, not able to see over the back of the one in front – let alone the big person sat in it – reminded me how much a booster seat helps. C’s is only a cardboard box, strengthened by the polystyrene inserts which once held an electrical device, which I put in a day pack. But with my leather jacket on top it gives young C all the extra vantage she needs.

Not all the other kids were stuck way down low, however. The Festival and the King’s theatres have invested in a set of plastic booster seats for this year’s pantomime at the King’s. And they’ve now brought half of them over to the Festival theatre for use there.

They look a good design – solidly moulded and easily able to stack up, too. Not quite as plush or aesthetically pleasing as the Playhouse’s cushions, which are generously lined in the same material as the seats themselves. But much, much, easier to clean.

We didn’t actually test them out though. I’m sure that they were being offered as people went in – but although our arrival was before curtain up the margin was somewhat tight. So you’ll have to wait until next time for a  proper test from young C. In the meantime, it is good to know they exist.

ENDS

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