We started with tea and cake in the cafe which was decked out with holly and feeling really festive. The scones and cakes were looking amazing and there were lots of lovely old school Christmassy treats for kids, like Candy Canes and paper bags of marshmallows, (so much nicer than a grab bag of Maltesters).
As always a highlight is playing in the interative exhibition ahead of the show, L enjoyed writing her own letter to Stanley…
Mr G liked playing with the comic book style interactive art work.
There were bean bags, a play kitchen and Flat Stanley’s art gallery, all constructed by children at a local school, so plenty for kids to do while waiting for the show to start and a great way to fire up their imaginations.
Then it was time for the show.
Flat Stanley is based on the book about the boy who is flattened by a noticeboard, it is a deliciously silly and slightly anarchic tale of family life, which reflects poignantly for children on the difficulties of sibling rivalry and the pros and cons of being different.
It rocks! The production is very slick, brilliantly executed by the cast, who have to sing, do Amercian accents and play a range of larger than life characters.
The set and costumes are fabulously 1950s retro, larger than life, and a little bit wonky. They really conjure the slightly insane world of Flat Stanley.
Announcing each scene, in song in this case, and what happens within it, keeps the play reassuringly in with the style of a chapter book, but also encourages the audience to think about what it means to be different.
It’s under an hour, punchy, very upbeat and lots of fun.
A Christmas show at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, combined with the exhibition, playground, lake and cafe is always a great afternoon and afterwards I even picked up some lovely presents in the gallery.