Paddington’s First Concert, Warwick Arts Centre
I often feel so lucky to live in an area which has such diverse opportunities on our doorstep, from Warwick Castle to The Bullring we’re not more than an hour away from so many fantastic days out. Today we ventured over to Warwick Arts Centre, another of our local venues which hosts everything from theatrical performances of The Gruffalo to comedians such as Jimmy Carr, there’s always something on for everyone. Having been to Warwick Arts Centre a few times I always look forward to returning, it has everything you could ask for in a venue, plenty of parking (free at weekends) clean and new facilities and welcoming staff AND if you’re a coffee fiend like me you’ll also be interested to know theres a spanking new Costa coffee opposite the entrance too!
Today we took the children to see The City Of London Sinfonia’s ‘Paddington’s First Concert’. I have never been into Butterworth Hall before so was looking forward to seeing what this part of the complex had to offer. I’ve also only taken the children to Julia Donaldson-related performances such as Room on The Broom, Tiddler and The Gruffalo so was intrigued to see what Paddington had to offer us.
We were not disappointed! The grand Butterworth Hall oozes style and sophistication, more importantly the seating is arranged with actual, real-life leg room! Perfect for us with a wriggly two year old and more baggage than Heathrow! The space between levels also meant that even with an adult in the seat in front the children’s view was not obstructed at all, I know you all feel the pain of having to seat a child on your lap during a show because they can’t see!
‘Paddington’s First Concert’ was a charming story of Paddington’s arrival into England and his chance meeting with The Brown Family who took him in. Superb narrator Simon Callow CBE talks small (and big) fans through Paddington’s story of how he visits The Royal Albert Hall with his friend Mr Gruber for his very first concert. Paddington hilariously finds himself on stage with the orchestra and ends up conducting Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. The story was of course accompanied live by The City of London Sinfonia who brought the story to life with incredible instruments and talent.
I was slightly concerned that my two year old might be a little bored without any visual to help explain the story but I could not have been more wrong, he was captivated by the humour and loved spotting the sounds. He adored the big bass drum (no surprise there)! Our daughter, who is six stunned me by naming William Tell (!) Because she had apparently seen it in a music book at school!?? She also loved being able to see all the instruments in all their glory. It struck me that they don’t really get to see these in action, if they are lucky enough to go to a performance, the orchestra is usually out of sight, so today was a real treat. Paddington’s story was 50 minutes long, the perfect length of time before the wriggles set in and we had a fabulous time.
I would recommend a visit to Warwick Arts Centre to anyone, especially if you’ve never been before. Warwick Arts Centre are brilliant at engaging children, there are very often craft activities available before the performances. Today the children were able to make and colour Paddington puppets and play some of the percussion instruments in the foyer; which really gave the experience extra depth & meant they had a souvenir to take away- a lovely reminder of their day out today that didn’t cost a penny and will be just as cherished as a soft toy or similar. We look forward to our next visit!
Take It From Mummy.com has not received payment for this review and all views are our own. If you would like more information on What’s On at Warwick Arts Centre you can visit their website here.