As soon as he got over the disappointment that we weren’t going to the park, Torin was pretty excited about packing a towel and going to the theatre in his wellies this weekend. And The Rain Falls Down by Fevered Sleep is like nothing we’ve ever seen before, a theatrical celebration of all things wet and watery, especially designed for 3 and 4 year olds.
We walked through a wonderland made of mountains of illuminated brollies to get to Nottingham Lakeside’s Djangoly Theatre. Then the magic really started. On a specially designed stage (complete with plug holes, well all that water has got to run somewhere!) two actors danced, jumped and splashed in puddles, fountains and under raindrops, showers and storms.
Torin recognised Karina Garnett as the cat from the stage version of Room on the Broom which we’ve also seen recently. Unlike that show, there were very few words in this one. This meant that as well as the soundtrack of drips and drops, there were plenty of stage-whispered questions from the audience. Before I was a parent I’d probably have tutted at all the noise, but seeing such young children so utterly enchanted and excited about what was going to happen next was really special.
When we booked our tickets we were warned that there was the chance children who wanted to get involved might get wet. This was underplaying it slightly. Towards the end of the show, wonderful trees of old-fashioned umbrellas lowered from the ceiling and were distributed to the audience who were invited to join the stars and splash in the water on the stage. We’d gone prepared with wellies, which was great until Torin sat in the puddles, pulled them off and used them to fling water around!
This was the first theatre production we’ve seen that wasn’t based on a children’s story. I was worried that without the pull of characters he recognised Torin would find it hard to engage. I needn’t have been. With such creative staging and a magical combination of dancing, splashing, lights and shadow puppets all of the audience, adults and children alike, loved it.
Torin’s best bit: the ducks. My best bit: the beautiful rainbow at the end.
And the Rain Falls Down is on tour until mid April, visiting London, Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool. The show lasts around 40 minutes. Although it’s aimed at 3 and 4 year olds there were some slightly younger children at our performance. Don’t forget a change of clothes, the theatres will provide somewhere to dry your child after the performance!
Eve is Mama to Torin, 3 and Cora, 1. The whole family are big fans of childrenâ€™s theatre and will be sharing their experiences in a series of guest reviews. She is a long time Bambino Goodies reader and blogs at Adventures of a Sleepless Toddler when she has time!