How old were you when you first went to the theatre? I’m pretty sure that I didn’t go when I was between 6 months and 18 months old, which is what the intended audience for The Baby Show at The Unicorn Theatre is. I may have gone to a pantomime when I was about three, but this is not a pantomime – this is a full-on show for 45 minutes that speaks to babies on a subliminal level.
Each show has about 10 – 15 babies (and their mums / dads) in the audience and I was expecting it to be noisy. Rory is not the sort of baby that can sit down and watch TV for any amount of time and his attention span with any toy is 5 minutes max. I was a bit nervous about how well / badly he would behave as we sat in the theatre’s cafe before the show started.
I may even have stress eaten my way through these nervous thoughts – with the offer of a free croissant with every hot drink in the morning, it would have been rude not to! There were plenty of high chairs in the cafe and Rory even made some friends before the show started. However, it wasn’t until an usher explained the show to us that I really started to relax. My mind was put at ease by saying most babies enjoyed the show, but if they didn’t then it wasn’t the end of the world. We could feed inside the show, walk them round or rock them to sleep -anything to make them feel comfortable.
And another bonus was that the staff took care of moving everyone’s buggies upstairs so that all you have to do is walk up with your baby. This service is so rare and my new biceps are evidence of this!
Upstairs there was a bit of a scramble for the pillows on the floor as there’s a front row and a second row, where views for the babies are limited. Being too slow off the mark, we had to sit in the second row which made it more uncomfortable for me because Rory couldn’t see if we sat on the floor. That meant I had to hold him in a standing position for 45 mins and at times he got so excited he wanted to use my arms to jump off the floor – all 10kgs of him! If you fancy going – and I highly recommend it – then I advise to claim your pillow quickly.
Saying that, my workout was worth it to see him so excited! The show starts with a baby in a garden being rocked to sleep in a pram. That ‘baby’ stays on stage for the whole time and then there are various adventures involving washing, hunting for a blanket and finding lots of baby wipes instead (which was hilarious to 9 month old Rory). And then there was a sock puppet that made strange noises, which was equally funny. At one point, he giggled so much that the parents in the front row turned round to look at him (and I was secretly proud).
No photographs are allowed during the show, understandably, but there’s 15 minutes of free play in the theatre afterwards. Rory took the opportunity to meet the actor – he was smitten. And maybe slightly confused about the fact the actor came off the stage and started to play with him – bless!
We both left the theatre smiling and with the ticket costing just £10, it was the best money I’ve spent on an activity in ages. Its location near London Bridge by the More London development meant there were plenty of options for lunch venues afterwards so I treated Rory to his favourite food – pizza – at the nearby Strada.
And yes, that is Tower Bridge in the background! I’ve never been to a pizza place with such a lovely view before. I’d go back there too for great value food in a picturesque location. I tried to explain about the bridge to Rory but he was more interested in his pizza….
If you like pizza, definitely check out Strada’s website too.