Finally another theatre blog 🙂
On Friday 9th December I returned back to Northern Stage to see their Christmas Show James and The Giant Peach – a play based on Roald Dahl’s story, David Wood and Director Mark Calvert adapted this great children’s story to the stage.
James and the what now?
So if you have not heard of the famous story of James and The Giant Peach then you will not know that it is about a poor little lonely boy called James Henry Trotter who lives with his terrible aunts. They make him do all kinds of rotten jobs but one day that all changes due to some green magic crocodile tongues and a peach that grows well… into a giant one.
The way that Northern Stage made that story come to life on stage was really special, it sounds corny but I really felt apart of that story as if I was on this journey with James. The whole production was a great piece of story telling, very playful and very much immersive which is what will be the main talking point of my blog (she says hopefully).
According to The Space the definition of immersive theatre is as follows:
In immersive theatre, the audience are not merely passive bystanders. They are part of the story, however small their role may be, and they are in the middle of the action. In an immersive theatre production, the audience in some way plays a role, whether that is the role of witness or the role of an actual character.
This production definitely applies to that definition.Not wanting to spoil the play if you are going to see it, the audience right from when you sit down in the theatre are very much apart of the performance. So many elements in the performance, what I like about it is that without those elements the story looses its magic- meaning that without these little bits that help tell the story and include the audience you simply loose the plot and the whole piece just becomes a them and us situation.
No, Northern Stage did very well to include the audience which I think is important, especially during Christmas/ Panto season. There were quite a lot of children which is to be expected at a Christmas show and from what I could see they were all engaged with the story and totally memorised by the performance. It was just an uplifting show, a very visual and colourful show- the whole thing was fizzing with bubbles of energy it was just such a fun and exciting performance to be apart of.
James and The Giant Peach could have easily been a flat performance and the audience may have not been involved. And it wasn’t, it was very energetic and full of imagination- it defiantly brought out the kid in me.
And of course in the run up to Christmas it is panto time, which always makes me laugh because for me it is only the time when I see anybody and everybody in the theatre all together without being dragged along.
It was just a thought that I had when I was at the theatre watching the show, going to the theatre to see a panto is tradition and I just wonder out of all those audiences, what there attendance is during the non festive theatre period. It would be interesting to see if from being at a panto if it encourages them to go to the theatre more often.
I don’t know it was just something I was thinking about.
Anyway -here is my interactive map (oooooo) to show the Christmas Shows that are on in the North East.