Kid Carpet and The Noisy Neighbours/The Blind Tiger Cub Club at Bristol Old Vic

Kid-Carpet-2Today, Ruby and I watched Kid Carpet and The Noisy Neighbours at The Bristol Old Vic, a show that is just one of the amazing array of shows on as part of Mayfest.

This one man show (with the help of some rather tiny little sidekicks) tells the story of a family who move into a new house in the city, and then wonder whether they will settle into the new surroundings and find their place. The neighbours are so noisy! But are there really elephants, sharks and crocodiles living next door?  Is that a giant mosquito or a crazy man with a drill?  Have a coven of witches put a curse on the home? And will they ever unpack those boxes?

Kid Carpet aka Ed Patrick is one of those rare performers who manage to engage the adults in the audience as much as the kids, with a seemingly effortless, laid back yet energetic delivery. Kid Carpet is renowned for his silly, surreal and entertaining music in his theatre shows, and this show was no exception. The highlight for 5-year-old Ruby was a song about what they were going to make for tea from an interesting array of ingredients called ‘A nappy, a spanner and a packet of cheese’. Mine was a mash up of all the cacophony of sounds from the noisy neighbours that came out as a dance tune that I could weirdly imagine myself dancing to!

The staging and props were perfect. Ruby spent 10 minutes before the show started reading all the packing boxes and their contents. “Only someone with a really tiny bottom could sit on that!” she exclaimed at the tiny box labeled ‘chair’. “And why would anyone need that many pants!” as she saw the massive box marked ‘Dad’s pants’. She was giggling even before the show started, and she and the rest of the audience continued giggling throughout. Massive pizza boxes were passed from the back of the front of the audience when the takeaway arrived. Mum arrived in a tiny, remote controlled car. The imagined noisy neighbours were represented by being projected onto the windows. There was a brilliant scene where Kid Carpet used puppetry and a tiny camera to bring his sons bouncing on their beds to life on the big screen. It was funny, silly, organized chaos.

We were also lucky enough to see ‘The Blind Tiger Cub club’, a speakeasy open-mic cabaret reimagined for little people. Our MCs were Saikat Ahmed and Craig Edwards, and very funny, lovely and good with kids they were too! Children aged four upwards are invited to do a turn on their very own cabaret stage. Anything goes, tell a joke, do a dance, sing a song or just come onto the stage and see how it feels to be in the spotlight. It was a really warm, welcoming, safe environment where any contribution was celebrated and so were the kids. Its well worth a little look in to this coming weekend, and above anything else, it is FREE, so if your little ones have ever fancied being on the stage, now is their chance!

Ruby does gymnastics Celeste tells a jokeMayfest programme here.

Review by Karen Blake




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