Category Archives: entertainment

Buxton Opera House: panto

Our first outing to a Christmas panto

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I was so excited to take toddler E to her first panto – Aladdin – at the majestic Buxton Opera House.

After a dash through the Pavilion Gardens, we arrived at the theatre with minutes to spare. But there was still time to buy a magic wand, there were a few to choose from and E went for the really REALLY colourful one.

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This year’s panto is Aladdin, a classic tale, fun for all the family. It started off with a loud bang and lots of boooos from the audience when the baddie Jafar appeared on stage (he played the audience superbly and was my favourite!). E was scared and cuddled into me (I was glad I had bought her a ticket for £2 which let her sit on my lap, rather than her own seat). But, by midway through the first act she was starting to shout along with everyone else.

The interval was a welcome break for my lap and then on to the excitement of the second act, which (no spoilers) included a magical ride, some topical costumes at a space party and a great ‘it’s behind you’ scene. With music and songs throughout, the panto was great entertainment for all – with enough innuendoes peppered through to amuse the adults. It’s running until the 2nd of January, so if you don’t have tickets hurry up! Here’s a video with a taste of what you’re missing:

We thoroughly enjoyed the show, but as E found it a bit loud next time I’d consider taking her to the quieter show they put on for autistic children.

Here’s to our next Christmas adventure!

Michelle x

Buxton Opera House: Gruffalo

Last week (wrote a few weeks ago but only just published!) we took E to her first theatre trip, we were very excited to be going to see The Gruffalo at Buxton’s Opera House.

E is nearly 18 months old and hubby was worried she might not enjoy the experience and would be disruptive, but I told him the theatre would be jam packed with kids – of course! We booked our tickets well in advance, a group booking with our neighbour which meant we saved a few pennies.

On the day the sun was shining in Buxton so we had a lovely walk through the gardens before meeting up with (what seemed like) all the children in Buxton ready to go into the theatre. We had seats in the stalls which were easy to get to, but definitely no room for a pushchair so we were glad we had carried her there.

E had her own seat, but being a little girl she sat on our laps so she could see the stage. As the lights went down and the actors started their performance she was quite glad to have us to cuddle. It took her while to relax in the new, strange surroundings, but once she did she was bouncing and clapping along to the songs.

The Gruffalo – what a show! We really enjoyed it, there was a level of humour for the parents as well as the children. The three actors worked their socks off and engaged with the audience through the words to the story everyone knew, snazzy costume changes and songs for people to sing along to. And at an hour in length, the timing was just right to keep the children engaged and the parents happy 🙂 It also meant we didn’t have to entertain E during an interval or pay for expensive snacks!

I was so pleased we had chosen this show for her first theatre trip. The Opera House is a fabulous building (it was restored…) It’s a great location in the middle of Buxton; there’s parking nearby or the train station isn’t far away. I’ll be checking the programme to find the next kids show we could attend.
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Thanks for reading, here’s to our next adventure!

What we liked:
* Great show!
* Beautiful theatre, perfectly formed for little visitors
* Easy to get to location

Would be even better if:
* Can’t think of anything! Um..