Smiling like Sunshine: Review:The Gorilla at Polka Theatre

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Review:The Gorilla at Polka Theatre

The lovely people at Polka Theatre have invited us to watch one of their shows. Last weekend Derin and I went there to watch their latest show Gorilla.

We love the Polka Theatre  and go there to watch their fabulous shows at least two or three times a year so we were absolutely delighted to go.
When we first went there, back in 2009, Defne had just turned 2 years old. We watched How to Catch a Star which is adapted from  one of our favourite books. I find it very important for the children to watch good quality theatre shows as these magical experiences  open up new worlds and develop their creativity and imagination.
Gorilla is adapted from Anthony Browne's book. Hannah is a little girl who loves gorillas. She  adores them and all she wants for her birthday is a real gorilla. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, she finds her present that her father has left for her: A toy gorilla. She is not quite impressed with that but the toy gorilla comes to life and asks her where she wants to go. "To the zoo" says Hannah. Well, Hannah had asked her father to take her to the zoo but he was very busy. Hannah had asked her dad to play with her but he was too busy. Did you know that daddy gorillas love to play with their babies? So says Hannah during the show.
The gorilla and Hannah go off to the zoo. That part of the show was great. The music, the  changing decors... At the end of the show, we see Hannah and her dad again. Dad asks Hannah where she would like to go and "To the zoo,to see the gorillas" says Hannah. This time, Dad makes an attempt to connect with her daughter which is a good reminder for us,parents, to play and spend more time with our children. If, like us you like Anthony Browne's My Dad, you will see some links from that book as well.

What did almost 4 year old Derin think about the show? This show is staged at the Adventure Room as it is aimed at under fives. There is an intimate atmosphere as the children sit on the carpet and the show is staged very close to the children. The last two times we went to Polka, we had been to the Main Theatre with flip seating and a big stage. I think Derin was a bit upset that we weren't there, so he refused to sit facing the stage. He faced the wall and said he wanted to go home. I didn't say anything as I knew he'd be interested very soon. A couple of minutes later, he was captivated by the music and when Hannah said "It's her birthday tomorrow" with such an excitement in her voice, he decided to turn to the stage. He absolutely loved it and when the show came to an end, he said "Aw, I don't want it to finish."
The music of the show was very catchy and successful,too. Click here to listen.
Besides their fantastic shows, I  also love the cosy atmosphere at this theatre. My children absolutely love going there. They always have a great time as there are lots of great things to do.
Polka Theatre has a small but lovely garden.

A book corner and art corner and a role play area  where you are welcome to visit and play even if you don't have tickets for the show of the day. There is also a small cafe should you like to eat or drink something.

 I also really like that they adapt their plays for the needs of their customers. For instance, if you have a baby and an older child, you can go to the Watch with Baby Shows. They also have relaxed performances aimed at families with children who are on the autistic spectrum or have sensory sensitivities.  

Gorilla is now open until 15 February in the Adventure Theatre for ages 3 – 5, with special Mini-Gorilla performances for ages 1 – 2. 

Anthony Browne's book  Gorilla is also  listed at  Booktrust's 100 Best Books for Children. To win a selection of 5 books from the list,please enter our competition here.

Disclaimer: We received two tickets for the show for review purposes. This review however reflects our true and honest opinion.

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