Taking your little ones to the theatre this Christmas doesn't mean you have to see a pantomime. Quietly frankly, the over-the-top acting, garish outfits and clown-like make-up , which is standard practice for a panto, can be a bit overwhelming for any child. If you're looking for an alternative kids show, which is full of festive cheer, fun and aimed at children, then book your tickets for One Snowy Night.
This classic tale by Nick Butterworth is on at The Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead and will get you in the festive mood.
The show follows the tale of Percy, the loveable park keeper, who feed the animals in the park where he lives. But one cold snowy night Percy finds his little friends shivering on his doorstep. Fun and drama ensues as he tries to find a way to fit them all in.
The actors were brilliant in bringing the tale to life. Clive Hayward, who plays Percy, oozed the warm and endearing persona of his character. And the puppeteers, Will Guppy and Rebecca Killick, did a fantastic job in putting on a variety of different accents to bring the various animals to life.
Anyone who is familiar with the book will be impressed by the amazing set. The interior of Percy's hut is just how it has been illustrated in the book - down to the trio of photo frames hanging on the wall, checked bed covers and shabby-chic furniture.
The show's original run at Norden Farm was produced in collaboration with theatre company Slot Machine back in 2010. It has now returned by popular demand. And because it's so popular make sure you turn up early as the spacious car park gets full very quickly.
This snuggly, heart-warming story is a perfect introduction to theatre for little ones as it combines all the things they love - songs, animals as well as a whole load of silliness. I took my three-year-old son Ibrahim to see the show and he absolutely loved it.
It's great for parents too as the show only lasts for 50 minutes, which means there is little chance of boredom to set in. And because the show is aimed at children - nobody looks on with horror if your child talks or laughs out loud.
And just when we thought it couldn't get better, as we were leaving Percy and the badger from the show were standing in the foyer waving goodbye to all the youngster. Ibrahim even managed to get a photo with the actors - a photo we will cherish for years to come.
The Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead SL6 4PF.
The show runs until Sunday, November 27 and tickets range from £11 - £13.
Buy tickets by calling box office on 01628 788997 or log on www.nordenfarm.co.uk for more information.