Wednesday 16th September, our first show of the season and our very first children’s show hosted at Fleetwood Library as part of the new Spot On Libraries project.
Spot On Programmer, Lyndsey Wilson, was up bright and early to assist artist Ruthie Boycott Garnett in getting ready for a special show for 0-4 year olds in Fleetwood and they were inundated with excited children aged between 0 to 4, including a whole class from the local nursery.
The show was commissioned by North West theatre consortium, Big Imaginations as a piece of outreach work to encourage families to try out some professional performance in more unusual spaces. Fleetwood Library volunteered to host Ruthie for two workshop sessions prior to the show so that very young children in the town could have the opportunity to see and use some of the props and experience some of the themes of the play before coming to see the final show and meet it’s star – Pom.
The Adventures of Pom is based on the greek myth of Persephone – a curious child who ventures a little too far away from her mother and finds herself lost in the underworld. Ruthie stripped the story down to it’s roots and retold it using props which helped the children explore texture, colour and temperature as well as understanding more about the seasons and the bond between mother and child.
The play had a toddler sized puppet as it’s main focus. Pom is a very cheeky puppet, what she likes most in the whole world is to tickle feet – and there were a lot of ticklish toes in the audience! The children were encouraged to join Pom on the stage and play on the set and following the show everyone joined Pom to help her put away the props and to say goodbye.
Lyndsey explained: “We wanted to have the opportunity to talk to families with very young children about the barriers which stop them from attending the theatre – the best way to do that was to offer something free at a suitable time during the day in a venue they already visit. We’ve had the chance to openly discuss some of the concerns/likes and dislikes of parents and guardians as well as offering a really fun adventure into theatre, and for some this was their first ever show. The feedback has been brilliant, everyone has asked us to do more in Fleetwood, and we hope to pursue this in the new year.”