22 November 2015
Reviewed by Rebecca Banasko
I visited the Lowry to watch Shiny with my 3 year old boy. I’ve never visited this venue and didn’t really know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find my way to the theatre via the shopping mall car park. The staff where incredibly helpful and we made our way to the theatre with a little help.
The theatre was more like a hall in which the audience sat around the main staging area at the same level as the performers. It was clear that the children were to be part of the show and had to take off their shoes and socks so that they didn’t slip should the urge to join in take them over. It was all very laid back and relaxed as I flung my coat and bag to the back of the room and sat myself down behind my boy. Looking around I could see that the ages varied between (and this is a rough guestimate) about 6 months to 4 years).
Some little ones already looked keen and were exploring the area and didn’t seem phased at all by the faces looking on at them in amusement. I was surprised at how small and intimate the set up was. The audience can’t have consisted of more than about 50 people.
Shiny was basically about two people who find the joy in the simplest of objects, or the ‘shiny’ in everything. Though the medium of dance, really lovely music that complements the whole show perfectly, lots of play and interaction with the audience (adults and children alike). You are soon transported back into the mind of child and you start to become as mesmerised as the children by the shiny play unfolding in-front of you.
My little boy was a bit reserved to begin with, he’s not one for jumping up and joining in straight away and preferred to sit very snugly on my knee without daring to move as he quietly observed. However, children of all ages were up on their feet, joining in and exploring the stage. The performers also had a great way of covertly involving the children without them feeling forced or put on the spot.
There then came a free play section towards the end in which everyone was invited up to dance and play with the Shiny. My boy then was then raring to go (as long as I was with him) and this really got him in the mood. He was loving playing with everything he has seen introduced throughout the show. He played with other children and collected up as much ‘shiny’ as he could fit in his little pockets.
The show lasted approximately 50 minutes, which is probably the optimum time that you could keep the attention of that age group. But I could have happily sat there for another half hour and my boy was just getting warmed up then and so was quite disappointed when it finished. The tickets retail for between £7.50-£10.50 which I think is a great price to pay for an hour of fun with your little person. I could have easily brought my 9 month along to this, I think she would have been fascinated. It’s different as well which is what I love about it. But it doesn’t stop there, the website turnedonitshead.org gives you access to lots of shiny ideas and I must say the show has given me lots f ideas of the simple fun you can have at home or out in the park with ordinary things that you may have lying around the house and i look forward to having more Shiny fun with my family.
Shiny is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit turnedonitshead.org.
For other shows at The Lowry visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000