Adventures with Sam, at the Greenwich Theatre (review)

This Easter we had a fun theatre outing to see Adventures with Sam at Greenwich Theatre.

It’s a show put on by the company Stories and More, which was founded by Teoni Randall and Lillie Collier with a mission to activate the imaginations of the youngest theatre-goers via the fun medium of storytelling.

There are two versions of the Adventures with Sam stories – our very exciting one took us to Outer Space.

I can safely say we started as a hard crowd. It was an 11am show on a cold Saturday morning, before any Easter eggs had been eaten, and we formed a quiet group of slightly bedraggled parents (me included), with our kids of the targeted age group of 3-7 year olds (my kids were a bit over the age target). But thanks to the upbeat friendliness of the actors, who joked around really nicely with the kids, it wasn’t long before we were all warmed up and interacting like we’d all had the right amount of sleep and were raring to go for the rest of the Easter weekend!

The plot told the story of Sam, an ordinary young boy, who found an adventure right in the middle of the library one day, and went off on a whirlwind tour to Outer Space to find Sparkle’s stolen space puppies.  Along the way he met such alliterative characters as Amber the Astronaut, Martian Mack and Alfonso the Alien. All great fun, and with a happy ending of course, with just two endearing actors to keep the action going.

As you have to be when you are a small company, Stories and More are ingenious with their use of space, props, costume and with their engaging actors. ‘Sam’ did some fantastic work with the kids which got them up on stage and joining in. It was nice for the kids to win special Explorer badges for outstanding achievements such as standing on one leg and holding very steady, and spelling ‘Mars’. We all got to join in for the songs and of course the moon dancing.

I also liked the touches when we had to collect the golden stars which were hidden on the backs of seats, and then we got to participate again when big bouncy balls seemingly dropped out of nowhere and we got to bounce them all over the auditorium. We also got sprayed by water pistols, which is always a good thing at the theatre.

I am a massive and long-standing fan of the Greenwich Theatre, and of the work that James Hadrell, its Artistic and Executive director, has done to encourage an inclusive environment for the changing local population. Hadrell is passionate about bringing children of all ages and backgrounds into the theatre and giving them a positive experience. I share his view that, from there, the children turn into youths and then adults who will carry on their lives as theatre-goers.  I believe that everyone in the audience felt the warmth emanating from this production, and I hope that these young families will keep coming back to the theatre as they get older.

See http://storiesandmore.org.uk/ for more details about Stories and More and the Adventures with Sam shows.

Disclaimer:  We were given free tickets to see Adventures with Sam for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own, and the photos were taken by me except for the two production shots.

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