Party is a funny, anarchic play that will capture the interest and imagination of children aged 2–5 years old, and is the perfect length to hold their attention. It is performed almost entirely in mime, so is accessible for little tiddlers who don’t have much language (or children who have English as a second language).
My co-reviewer (AKA my recently turned three year old son) was the youngest child in the theatre, as we were in amongst several reception aged school groups. But he derived just as much joy from the performance as the other four and five year olds.
The forty minute story follows a little boy called Alfonso (Mark Conway), who is waiting anxiously for an invitation to his best friend’s birthday party. When it finally arrives we see him giddy with excitement, preparing for the party and then nervously waiting to enter, before finally running in and partying with the wild abandon of a five year old child.
The children all derived much humour from the fact that Alfonso is played by a fully grown man with a beard, but dressed and acting like a small child. There are several street performer-style party tricks, with balloons and hats magically appearing which wowed the kids and kept them all gripped. Then the magical grand finale (no spoilers) had every child in the room screaming with joy.
The sets and the costumes are brightly coloured evocations of childhood, with cakes, footballs, tutus, balloons and streamers. Just really joyful and fun.
We saw the play at the Half Moon Theatre in Limehouse, which is such a lovely young person’s arts venue and well worth a visit to see another performance with your kids if you live locally.
Directed by: Chris Elwell
Set design by: Peter Morton
Original Music by: Mark Newnham of Singing Cactus Productions
Lighting Design by: Samuel Baker
Produced by: Half Moon Theatre
Party is touring nationally, as well as a number of dates throughout London during March. It returns to Half Moon Theatre on 25 March. Full dates available via the below button.