Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review - Show for tots - Boom Bah!

We are just back after watching this show for the very young (age 1 to 3 years) by an Australian theatre group. Boom Bah! A very catchy title. Ask all the young fellas. My little one loved saying the phrase everytime she came across the picture of the show promo - on posters, flyers, ads and then when we went in for the show LIVE too. Not just her, many little ones were happy to identify and say - Boom Bah!

Beautiful set - a small octagonal wooden 'magic' cupboard, with windows and doors that opened on each side. From the outside, it was simple. In the inside, which we later came to know, the small cupboard had a treasure trove of all things possible - puppets and trumpets, jars and guitar, tins and violin, and of course the show's performers - a cat, a dog, a goat and a chicken.

Along the green pathway that extended from this cupboard, at one end, to the other end of the hall sat the little kids (on so cute), with a few adults. I really loved the seating plan, because alongwith the performers, I could easily also look at the other kids sitting across the 'road' (great entertainment). A couple of kids (3 year olds) who sat right across, thoroughly enjoyed the show. They were into it from the word go - spotting and saying everything that opened up - cat, milk, jar, bell, biscuit, cup, bowl.....and also guiding the performers on the way - 'it's there', 'no no that side.'

My little one, and others her age made the quieter lot amongst the audience. But I'd believe they too enjoyed the show.

It was nonsense (literally) and that seems to have worked well with the kids. The comical performers in funny costumes, their wild antics, the bubbles, bedsheet, musical instruments, chicken feathers and even eggs all popping out of the 'magic' cupboard without any logic/reason.
Another thing that worked in favor of the show was the performers' continuous interaction with the young audience. They seemed to be practically talking to, playing with and entertaining individual kid, maitaining their distance (considering their audience's age and whims) - that was very intelligent.

I loved the 'Shh listen, what's the sound' rhyme that must be the theme rhyme of the show. (Umpteen opportunities to use in our everyday with TV).

What I'd have loved though, is an underlying theme and all the nonsense around that theme. It seemed like the show started with a theme - making music with everyday items in a setting of 4 farm animals playing together. But then came the real musical instruments, eggs from the chicken and chickens from the eggs, bedsheets and suds and some uncalled for antics by the animals - abrupt and at times just filling in, without any significance. Even the most enthu kids seemed lost at times due to this.

Having been to 3 shows for the very young in last 6 months, I truly feel a theatre experience is anyways enriching and exciting for the very young. Hats off and a big thank you to the performers and producers of shows for the very young. Every show, despite its shortcomings, has something for the little ones to take back from. Like the rhyme from Boom Bah.

There are so few theatre shows for the lil ones, would not like to miss any opportunity to see TV and the other lil ones soaking themselves in the theatrical atmosphere. We are heading for another one tomorrow.

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