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New family season at Lyric Hammersmith

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 18 April 2008

The Lyric Hammersmith has announced its line-up of children’s shows for spring and summer 2008 which covers half-terms, the Easter holidays and Saturdays throughout the season, culminating in the annual Summer Party, a free family theatre festival, on 12 July.

Shadow Play, the new show by Travelling Light Theatre Company, is the spring half-term show in the Lyric Studio, running from 19-23 February 2008. Inspired by the way children use play to investigate and understand the world around them, Shadow Play melds together a vibrant mix of music, dance, mime and design to take audiences on a journey of exploration.

Easter at the Lyric sees Lyngo Theatre return to the west London venue with a show that brings out the circus in everyone. Circus Minimus (8-12 April) puts everyday life in the spotlight and shows how each family is a circus – toddling clowns, teenage lions, mums who spin plates and dads who fly by the seat of their pants. Lyngo’s previous shows for the Lyric Hammersmith include The Fish’s Wishes, which played earlier this month.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit Little Red Things, by Gromito Productions, is the summer half term show in the Studio, running from 28-31 May. Bringing together puppetry, live music and storytelling, the show follows a little girl who, unable to sleep without her bedtime story, goes in search of the source of all stories. Suddenly she finds herself in the forest of inspiration on a magical adventure.

But you don’t have to wait for the holidays for family entertainment. The season of one-off Saturday shows begins on 19 Jan vary with Flyaway Katie, based on the book by Polly Dunbar and created by Long Nose Puppets, whose previous work includes Shoe Baby. The programme continues with: puppet show Red Riding Hood’s Magic Purse (26 Jan); Cinderella’s Ashputtel (2 Feb), a playful reworking of Cinderella by Banyan Theatre Company; Niki McCretton’s tale about Laika the space-travelling dog, Muttnik The Dog (1 Mar); time-travelling adventure Dr Nose Travels Through Time! (8 Mar); Gromito’s Sun Dragon (15 Mar), an epic story about a boy who dreams of flying; and The Elves And The Shoemaker (22 Mar), a magical retelling of the classic fable.

In a new initiative for next year, some of the Saturday shows will be followed by interactive post-show workshops entitled Messy Play.

Finally, summer sees the return of the Lyric Hammersmith’s Summer Party on 12 July. This free theatre festival takes place all over the venue and in the square outside, featuring a host of interactive shows and events for children and their families. The exact programme is yet to be announced.

Currently running in the Lyric Studio is wintry clay workshop Christmas Claytime (until 29 Dec), while the main house hosts Told by an Idiot’s Christmas show Beauty And The Beast (until 5 Jan).

CB

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