On Sunday we took Oliver and Isabella to their first theatre trip. I had booked to take them to see Postman Pat Live.
I've been wanting to book a children's show for some time, and when I saw this one it looked perfect for the toddlers. The first half of the show is about 40 minutes, with a 20 minute interval and then a further 15 minutes at the end. I booked the 12.30pm performance at The Pavilion in Bournemouth.
Typically, this was the same day as the Bournemouth marathon and roads were due to be closed. Thankfully I received an email from The BIC/Pavilion booking service with detailed information on the road closures in the area and alternative routes.
We set off from home early, intending to have something to eat in town before the show. The traffic was actually fine and avoiding the road closures for our destination was not a problem. We parked in the Pavilion car park and wandered into town through Bournemouth gardens.
Due to the timings we chose to have brunch in Debenhams restaurant. They serve a delicious breakfast with a choice of 6, 8 or 10 item breakfast for adults and a 3 item breakfast for children with toast too. A very inexpensive treat for us all and used up some time before the show.
We then walked back to the theatre, via the gardens and spent some time watching the squirrels. We've promised Oliver we will go back with some squirrel nuts this week.
Back at The Pavilion we picked up a children's activity programme for Oliver and Isabella and treated them to a light up magic wand. There was Postman Pat merchandise available to buy, but the prices were higher than in the shops and after all, we were there to watch a show, not to buy toys. A toy would have distracted the children too much.
Inside the theatre we found out seats easily. I'd booked seats at the end of an aisle so that Gary could take the aisle seat and stretch his legs out if needed. The seats were actually very comfy, but the children needed to kneel up to be tall enough to see the stage properly.
The lights went down and the curtains went up. Issy whispered "it's dark mummy". I hoped that the dark wouldn't worry the children too much.
Postman Pat appeared on the stage. "Say hello to Pat" I whispered to Issy. "No" was the response. Uh oh.
Then onto the stage came Ted. Issy's face lit up as she took in the show. I looked over to Olly who was now sat on Gary's lap for a better vantage point. He too was mesmerised.
Soon there was singing and dancing, and Issy and Olly were keen to join in. Olly bobbed about on daddy's lap and Issy got down from her seat and stood dancing and following the hand actions of the characters. I sang along with Issy and I felt very proud that my children were enjoying the show.
At the interval we dashed to one of the ice-cream stalls to buy a tub of New Forest Ice-Cream each. The children were happy sat in their seats scooping their ice-cream while we waiting for the show to re-start.
The second half was much shorter and completed the story with lots of singing and dancing. Both Olly and Issy waved their flashing wands at the stage and jigged and sang in all the right places.
At the end we stood up and clapped and the curtain went down. As we made our way out of the theatre the children spoke excitedly about what they had seen.
Once in the car and home bound the children nodded off. All the singing and dancing had worn them out.
We thoroughly enjoyed watching Postman Pat Live and I can't wait to take them to another show. Next year I hope they will be ready to watch a Christmas Panto.
"Oh yes we will".