Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison
Last night, my husband and I had the very rare chance to head out together for the evening on a Friday night, practically unheard of! So we went into Warrington to The Pyramid Arts Centre to watch Sam Avery – The Learner Parent.
The Pyramid Arts Centre is in an ideal location in Warrington, really close to the train station as well as easy links to lots of motorways. There is ample parking at the local Golden Square shopping centre as well as lots of on street parking available after 6:30pm. If you’re looking to make a full evening of it, as we did, there’s also many restaurants and bars in the vicinity of the theatre so lots of options for pre or post show food and drinks.
Sam Avery is a bestselling author, award winning blogger and stand up comedian. Sam has been a comedian for sixteen years, recently his comedy and blog centres around being the parent of four year old twin boys. Until I saw this show on the Parr Hall website I had never actually heard of Sam Avery ,however the description of the show on the website made me really fancy watching this show particularly when it said “he shares all the lows, highs and hilarious in-betweens of his experiences of first-time parenthood.” Having two girls aged six and two myself I can definitely relate and empathise to the trials and tribulations of parenting.
Sam is a brilliant storyteller, he told stories about his life with young children that had the audience in stitches and painted a far too real picture of marriage after children that it appeared most audience members recognised. The first half of the show Sam talked about becoming a parent and made us all laugh with tales about living with small humans. The second act centred around Sam’s recounting of his worst experience of toddler tantrums, it all started with a broken banana. Any parent will understand the issues a broken banana can bring! Whilst it’s generally not kind to laugh at others misfortune it’s nice to know that those days happen to all of us and Sam’s ability to capture the emotions and stress of those days so brilliantly had me crying with laughter.
I only had one reservation about watching this show before we went which was based upon other parenting bloggers I have read. Far too often I read parenting comedy blogs and occasional books that focus so much on the harder aspects of parenting and disparage their children so much that I find it uncomfortable to read, it’s almost as if it’s a race to the bottom to see who finds it hardest the most, of whose children are the worst behaved etc. I often come away from reading those blogs wondering if there’s any part of parenting they enjoy and whether they actually like their partner or children at all. I needn’t have worried, Sam’s show is so far removed from the previous blogs I have read that they are unrecognisable as being in the same genre. Whilst clearly managing to convey the utter hell that living with toddlers can sometimes be, the love Sam has for his partner and children shone through throughout the show. It was a refreshing change to hear the positives and silver linings in amongst the hardships.
This is a fantastic show for parents if they manage to escape for a night, extremely funny and definitely reminds you that you’re not the only one hanging on to this rollercoaster called parenting. The show is absolutely more than “alright”!
Sam Avery – The Learner Parent is currently touring the UK. For more information, tour dates and to book tickets, visit www.thelearnerparent.com.
For other shows at the Parr Hall in Warrington visit parrhall.culturewarrington.org or call the box office on 01925 442884.
Pyramid & Parr Hall, Cultural Quarter, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL