Androcles and the Lion, Teatret Gruppe 38, photo by Bo Amstrup
Androcles and the Lion, Teatret Gruppe 38, photo by Bo Amstrup
Androcles and the Lion, Teatret Gruppe 38, photo by Bo Amstrup
Androcles and the Lion, Teatret Gruppe 38, photo by Bo Amstrup

A review of Androcles and the Lion by Teatret Gruppe 38, bOing! Festival, Kent

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Kids in Museums volunteer, Rhonda Carrier, reviews this excellent, family-friendly show, that’s ideal for summer.

Summer is a perfect time for relaxed, family-friendly theatre, often in outdoor settings where kids can move around, unrestricted by conventional seating. This chimes in well with the increasing trend towards children’s shows that are interactive on all kinds of different levels.

A perfect example of this is Androcles and the Lion, one of the highlights of this year’s bOing! Festival at the University of Kent’s Gulbenkian Arts Centre over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Ideal for a day-trip out of London, the Festival is mainly free and outdoors, with some indoor performances at a small charge.

bOing! is an excellent setting in whcih to see international children’s theatre, cherry-picking as it does popular performances and installations from festivals worldwide. This year it includes shows from Spain, France and Australia, as well as Denmark and the UK, ranging from hip hop to a walk-in sculpture based on the Sagrada Familia. Pack a picnic and a blanket and you can enjoy a global array of shows you’d normally have to travel far and wide to see.

Androcles and the Lion, which I saw at the Danish+ Festival, held each May in the lovely city of Aarhus, eschews sitting down at all, in favour of hammocks from which kids and parents alike can watch projects on a canopy strung above them. These have done down especially well with audiences of autistic children, who appreciated the feeling of safety they gave them during a communal experience. The images you see on the left differ by performance, as members of the Danish children’s theatre company Teatret Gruppe 38 improvise with liquids, flowers and other media to create magical images, accompanied by msueum that is also hand-crafted to each performance for a truly unique, one-off experience.

bOing Festival 2018 https://boingfestival.com/
25-26 August 2018. Free entry, charges for some performances.

Other great children’s theatre this summer:

The Railway Children, Various dates and locations until 2 Sept 2018
Heartbreak Productions’ outdoor adaptation of the classic children’s tale by Edith Nesbit

Whispering Woods, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 15 Sept 2018
An outdoor promenade performance, performed amongst ancient trees and celebrating the journey through life.

Dinosaur World Live, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London, 14 Aug–9 Sept 2018
An interactive family show following an intrepid explorer discovering a prehistoric world

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