26-27 June 2015
Reviewed by Michelle Llabani
My boys and I had an absolutely fantastic morning at the Royal & Derngate watching the Octonauts doing what they do best… Explore, rescue and protect!
The Royal & Derngate is situated in the heart of Northampton, easily reachable by car, train or bus. There is ample carparking nearby at the St John’s multistorey, with the added bonus of free weekend parking!
The Octonauts performance is based upon the popular children’s cartoon by the same name. Often, these types of productions can be contrived with little story and more gimmick, however the Octonauts didn’t fail to impress even my ‘ too cool for all this’ eight year old. The story, whilst simple enough for the younger members of the audience to follow, was also interesting enough to hold the attention of both my 5 and 8 year old boys. As with the series, the script writers had ensured there were a number of interesting and accurate sea related facts, meaning the audience were both entertained and educated.
The set was true to the series, and the use of videoscreens showing fish swimming pass added to the sense of being underwater. There were a number of scene changes and this added to the sense of story progression. Personally my favourite part of the performance was when the Octonauts entered the Midnight Zone. Instead of using full-sized suited up characters they swapped to 2 dimensional puppets, using the darkness as a screen for the puppeteers. They not only included Captain Barnacles, Kwazii and Peso, but also a number of other sea creatures, achieving a fantastic effect with ultraviolet lighting. The jellyfish bloom dance was brilliant!
All in all it was a fantastic performance, with enough audience participation, catchy tunes and plotting to keep all ages happy. Best of all Captain Barnacles was so impressed with the cadets (the audience), that he made the every one of us an Octonaut, something that my 5 year old has been telling to everyone he can.
Simply a great show for the kids.
The Octopod has now departed from Northampton but continues its tour until 5 July 2015. For more information, tour dates, venues or to book tickets visit www.octonautslive.co.uk.
For other shows at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.
Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811