I’m ready to TakeOff….. always.
TakeOff Festival is England’s leading festival of theatre for children and young people and it returns 21-26 October 2019 across County Durham. It’s a beautiful, jam packed week of lush theatre shows for minis and families across multiple venues.
It’s become a passage of life….my early 20s were all about music festivals and that type of shenanigans….my early 30s (clinging to the early bit as nearly 34) is all about taking my friend’s minis to theatre festivals. And to be honest, I’m really not sure who enjoys it more…. For them, they have a magical experience full of high quality family theatre and storytelling escapism…and I…..well I have the same experience really and hang out with lush mini humans – I can’t wait.
If you haven’t heard of, or been to TakeOff before…well it’s LUSH and a North East family fest gem! The beauty is that you can book for loads of theatre shows (sorting out your half term in an instant – like the pro parent/grandparent/carer that you are!) as they is something different every day or you can dip in and out picking something you fancy.
TakeOff Festival is produced by Theatre Hullabaloo and supported by Durham County Council. I really love Theatre Hullabaloo; they were an organisation that I was aware of from day dot Culture Vulture, as pioneering theatre makers that make, tour & promote theatre for young audiences that inspire the imagination and challenge the mind.
They believe that theatre should and could be part of everyone’s childhood – an ethos that I am super passionate about AND they prioritise young people in their work linking with specialist creative and education teams at every stage of the theatre making process. All their theatre making has passion and purpose – a theatre organisation, that champions audiences as the priority is certainly an organisation that is VERY Culture Vulture.
So I totally suggest you make theatre and TakeOff Festival part of your Autumn 2019 half term experience across 21-26 October!?…..There are LOADS of performances for various ages to choose from and there is the TakeOff Festival family day on 26 October in Durham city centre; a fun-filled family day of world-class children’s theatre, storytelling, installations, arts and crafts and much more!
Whilst the whole programme looks MEGA, I thought I’d take a moment to share with you my Culture Vulture festival picks to hopefully inspire you to go and see some lush theatre at TakeOff Festival. There are also some specialist SEND shows including Playful Tiger.
Hide & Seek (By Theatre de la Guimbarde, France)
Pelton Community Centre
22 Oct, 1.30pm
Two siblings have been put to bed for the night, but these children have more exciting plans in mind!
Become part of their simple game as they reinvent new ways to play hide-and-seek. In a rediscovery of the pleasure of hiding oneself in order to discover oneself, Hide-and-Seek invites audiences to experience the acrobatic adventures that ensue past these children’s bedtime.
Suitable for ages 2-5 years.
Hide & Seek
Sky (By Teater Minsk, Denmark)
Gala Theatre, Durham
23 Oct 11am & 12,30pm, 24 Oct 11am & 12.30pm, 25 Oct 9.30am & 1pm, 26 Oct 10am, 1pm & 2.30pm.
Jump onto a soft cloud and feel the wind whirling and whispering as two dancers make the space around you twist and turn.
Lie down and look at the sky through your toes!
Can you see the world from upside down?
Can you hear the stars?
Everything is in motion in this beautiful dance theatre for minis and their families.
Suitable for ages 2-4yrs.
There Is A Noise (By Hestnes / Popovic, Copenhagen)
The Hullabaloo, Co Durham
23 October, 6pm
From the diary of a 16-year-old grandmother in 1945 to the narrative of escaping war as a child, this piece investigates memory. The audience is invited to sit around a table while stories unfold around them in the midst of frying waffle ooze. We look at the blurry line between facts, memories and emotions of experiencing war as a child and question how to retell. The piece dives in to the confusion and unease of carrying such a story with you and the difficulty of sharing it.
What can we share with others and how can we relate to something that we do not understand?
Suitable for ages 13yrs+
There Is A Noise
Jabberbabble (By Theatergroep Kwatta, The Netherlands)
The Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College Durham
25 Oct 9.30am, 11.30am & 1.30pm and 26 Oct 10am & 12noon
A show about four birds and one nest. Nobody understands their jibber jabber lingo. What if we don’t speak the same language but still manage to understand each other?
A delightful show that is entirely sung, as it should be with birds – by the end of the show, no one will be strangers. #fourbirdsonenest
Suitable for ages 4-7yrs.
Tiger Tale (By Barrowland Ballet, England)
Gala Theatre, Durham
26 October, 11.30am & 4pm
Something wild is prowling. She can hear it through her bedroom walls, but her mum and dad seem stuck in the dull routines of their everyday lives. Until one day the wild breaks in and everything changes.
A troubled family’s world turns upside down when a tiger invades. It’s chaotic, it’s dangerous but brilliantly funny as the tiger reignites the family’s love for one another. With captivating dancers, enjoy the thrill of sitting right up close to the action and the chance to explore the set at the end.
Suitable for ages 7yrs+
So those are my suggestions – but there are loads of other shows – you can download the full programme from HERE!
If you go to watch the above shows or any others – let me know what you thought!
Also, this year this is The TakeOff Festival family day on 26 October in Durham city centre with a fun-filled family day of world-class children’s theatre, storytelling, installations, arts and crafts and much more! There’s a great mix of free and paid for events so something for all the family to enjoy!
You can check out what there is to at Family Day HERE.
Until next time Culture Vultures….get plotting your half term shenanigans with your minis!