If you read my previous post, which was originally written this time last year, you’ll remember that in my pre-motherhood years I was a bit of a Christmas cynic and it took that little sparkle from my children to really bring it all to life. This year, I’m no longer that old scrooge and the Christmas feeling came upon me all by itself, much in the same way as the Christmas tree fell over all by itself last year!
Anyway, we truly got into the Christmas buzz by putting up the decorations last week. This was very early for me, but the kids insisted after we attended ‘It sounds like Christmas’ – a show by The Abracadabra Creative School for Kids
We were invited to view their Christmas premiere, held in the Powerscourt Theatre in Dublin. Although the location isn’t quite on our doorstep, we thought it might be a nice way to share the afternoon together and that the kids would enjoy it. Besides, I’ve always loved the Powerscourt shopping centre and I wanted to see Grafton Street and the Christmas lights in order to suck up some of that Christmas ambiance, as where we live can be very quiet and I’m a city girl at heart.
Before the show began, I casually mentioned to the kids that they could go on stage if they wished and their immediate response was negative. I said that was OK and they could stay with me and watch if they preferred. After a while they got into the mood and the friendly performers managed to draw some of the children onto the stage. My kids wouldn’t go up without me, so I headed onto the stage too, and then slipped away when they were comfortable.
The show was an interactive performance whereby the children were encouraged to come onto the stage with the performers and get really involved. They were encouraged to tell stories and make music with bells and pots and pans. I didn’t realise that I had two budding actors on my hands – I couldn’t believe how enthusiastic they became once they were up on stage. Another parenting blogger asked If my daughter attended stage school!
They buzzed after the show and were so proud of themselves, mainly because they got up on a stage. Last year they played parts in a nativity play in Montessori, an experience which they found very daunting. This week, again they will appear in a school concert and I had worried that they may feel uncomfortable. The Christmas show has provided some gentle and unstructured preparation for appearing on stage in our local community hall. They’re both genuinely excited to be on stage again and I’m relieved to know they’re not at all concerned.
Personally, I thought the show took a little while to warm up and there were a few technical issues with the sound, with performers speaking over each other. Initially I thought it could have been rehearsed more thoroughly, but that is not the nature of this show. It is actually a workshop, unstructured and based on improvisation rather the timely delivery of lines.
After the show I realised that the lack of structure and casual approach was exactly the reason why the kids were able to relax and join in. They were free to join in when and if they wanted, or they could choose to sit on the sidelines and watch everything unfold. I was chatting to the performers after the show while trying to cajole the kids off the stage and they literally didn’t want to leave. So, I have to base my opinion of the show on my kids’ response – they bumbled on about it for days, telling their teachers, grandparents and basically anyone who would listen to them.
The performers possess great passion for what they do and a have a way of instantly connecting with kids. They are interested in getting children involved in creating music, to help feed their confidence and creativity. The school is new and still becoming established and I’d love to watch it continue to thrive.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!