Theatrical Fun for the New Year


The Gulbenkian Theatre presents “IN A PICKLE” from 22nd January

An Oily Cart/Royal Shakespeare Company co-production.

“A brand new wonderland and exciting journey from the café foyer into the theatre and onto the stage for children aged 2 to 4, their families and friends.

Our adventure begins in the woolly pastures of the Shepherdess and her flock of little sheep. She is having a party to celebrate the sheep shearing. When she discovers a lost baby, we must follow the clues”.

In A Pickle

Sounds fun for small beasts!


Here be a Dragon: Snow Dragon comes to the Gulbenkian

There’s magic, songs, dancing and lots of opportunities for the audience to get involved in the Snow Dragon, which is currently playing at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury. In an animal kingdom where animals wait for New Year’s Eve to be given a present by whichever Snow character they believe in, Billy the goat finds himself out collecting berries on the night to leave out for the Snow Dragon – but the chance to make mischief with two friends means Billy ends up with no berries, and nothing to leave out for the Snow Dragon: will he get a present ?


There’s a strong moral perspective to the tale, with taking care of others the message at the heart of the show. It’s presented in a way that children are able to understand, with a recap of what’s happened underlining the point towards the end. Best of all, though, there is lots of audience participation, with a packed theatre enthusiastically joining in with songs and warning Billy to look of for wolves.

Whilst it is tremendous fun for children, there are some knowing asides for the parental figures among the audience, in particular a blink-and-you-miss-it moment where Billy’s mum and dad hurriedly ask each other if it they were the one to leave a present out for Billy on New Year’s Eve (we’ve all been there!)

For all the leaping around, and the singing and dancing, the moment towards the end of the show where the Snow Dragon appears is wonderfully realised – I won’t spoil the moment by saying how – but it is achieved with real poetry, and for a moment, a touch of magic hangs in the air. The hour-long show is fuelled by the energy of the three performers, diving behind the scenes to present a wealth of characters throughout the story.

The intimacy of the Gulbenkian Theatre is ideally suited to the show, where you always feel involved in what’s happening on the stage; in a neat touch, the walls of the auditorium have been decorated with white trees, making the scenery spread out to encompass the audience. There’s even a surprise in store right at the end for some of the audience who might be sitting in the centre block…

The production plays at the Gulbenkian until Sunday 23 December; find out more online here; enter the magical world of the Snow Dragon for yourself…

Reviewed by Tom O’Bedlam

Pilgrims with the Pantaloons

Are your year 3/4 children looking at Pilgrims as part of their curriculum?

If they are, this is a great introduction to the Canterbury tales. Raucous and funny and suitable for all ages:

The pilgrims



The Pantaloons are playing at the Gulbenkian on Friday 16th November

“Back by popular demand after a hugely successful open-air tour in 2011, The Pantaloons’ unique version of The Canterbury Tales is hitting the road again in November 2012*. And now it’s better than ever.

In a theatrical first, a cast of just five actors present every single one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s timeless tales in under two hours. Come and join the pilgrims for puppetry and poetry, music and magic, talking chickens and burnt bottoms. Fast-paced, physical and funny, this performance is in modern English and suitable for the whole family.

With no rain to worry about we expect these extra special indoor performances to sell out fast. So don’t delay; book some madcap medieval mayhem today!


Family festival fun tomorrow at the Gulbenkian

Coming up tomorrow, family events (and free entry for children) at the Gulbenkian Theatre.

Part of this year’s Sounds New Festival taking place in Canterbury at the moment, Sunday sees Worldwide Mother’s Day, celebrating international Mother’s Day with a feast of family-oriented fun, with musical performances every hour, art and drama workshops, dance, face-painting and more.

The event starts at 11am and runs until 3.30pm. Children go free when accompanied by a paying adult, tickets are £5.

More details on the Sounds New website here.

Gener8: half-term family fun at The Gulbenkian!

The Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury is hosting the GENER8 festival, a feast of shows, workshops and films for families, all next week from Tuesday 31 May – Saturday 4 June.

Draw Me A Bird

CBBC’s Big Howard, Little Howard bring  Little Howard and the Magic Pencil of Life and Death on Tuesday 31 May at 2pm, whilst hugging is the theme in How The Koala Learnt To Hug on Wednesday 1 June at 2.30pm.

Open-air performances include Dizzy O’Dare and The Tiny Travelling Tight Wire Show on Wed 1 June and The Galloping Cuckoos on Fri 3 June.

There’s also Draw Me A Bird on Thursday 2 June at 2pm, or you can be a star at The Gulbenkian and take part in one of Bright Shadow’s Drama Workshops for Kids on Friday 3 June. The Owl and Pussy Cat sail in on Saturday 4 June at 2pm

Owl and the Pussycat

Children’s films include A Town Called Panic on Friday 3 June at 6.20pm, and the chance to see Disney’s hair-raising Tangled in 3D on Saturday 4 June at 6.20pm.

All the details can be found on-line here.

Family fun at half-term: don’t miss it!