Reviewed by Louise Watts
Mister Maker has been teaching our children arts and crafts since 2007. With 4 children born between 2003 and 2014 Mister Maker has been a regular fixture in my living room (so to speak) for the past decade. As a mum who does not have an artistic bone in her body and was delighted the day she could say goodbye to art lessons forever, Mister Maker has at times been my saviour. With easy to follow and easy to make ideas, I have managed to keep the kids entertained with arts and crafts whilst maintaining that mummy really does know about making things, even though I really have no idea!
Mister Maker and the Shapes have become a regular partnership since the show began and myself and my 3-year-old son were lucky enough today to be given the opportunity to go and see them in their live UK tour at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. We arrived in the town with plenty of time to spare and parked without fuss in the multi storey car park adjacent to the theatre. We took the short walk to the theatre and as soon as we entered the building, you could feel the excitement brewing. There were young children everywhere with their parents and grandparents all waiting to see the wonderful Mister Maker himself and the “real” shapes. Before taking our seats, we had a coffee in the bar area which was very nice. All staff were pleasant and helpful and as we walked to our seats, we had a look at the merchandise stall. There were all sorts of things varying from arts and crafts sets to miniature cuddly shapes. The stall was very busy with families spending money.
As we entered the auditorium, we were all given a piece of paper which we assumed we would be making something with during the show. As soon as the show started with Mister Maker’s supporting stars named Jenny, Emmy, Will and Rhys the kids were enthralled. With an opening high paced song and some energetic dancing, you could feel the anticipation growing for Mister Maker’s big entrance. And then it came; the kids were shouting (and some of the mum’s too!) as Mister Maker himself entered the stage. From that moment on he had the kids’ attention. My 3-year-old son did not look away from the stage and was clapping and shouting when required. There were several songs, some well-known but specially modified to be specific to the show. The dancing was simple but very fast paced and children (and adults) were encouraged to dance along with them. All of the favourite Mister Maker sayings were there, and we had a couple of brilliant Minute Make Times. Children and adults were called on stage to help with games and the adult humour was amazing. We then discovered what to do with our bits of paper and they were all collected before the interval commenced. The first half was about 40 minutes long and I think this was just about perfect for the younger children in the audience.
After a short interval, it was back to it and all the members in the audience helped make fantastic pictures with their pieces of paper that had been collected by the supporting stars. You could feel the tension in the room rising as the children waited patiently for the Shapes to make their entrance. When they did enter the kids were cheering and clapping. My son was so excited that the “real” Shapes were on stage and everybody sung the Shape song. The singing and dancing continued with more humour for adults alongside to keep us entertained. Then all too quickly the show was finished. It was obvious that everyone had had a wonderful time and there were many families there which was lovely to see. I was a little apprehensive before the show about how Mister Maker was going to manage to do a live show, but I needn’t have been. It was a truly amazing family show, an absolute must for all young children!
Mister Maker & The Shapes Live! is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit mistermakerlive.co.uk.
For other shows at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk.
Assembly Hall Theatre, Crescent Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2LU | 01892 530613