Is it coincidence that I called yesterday’s blog sleeping beauty, and then yesterday afternoon we went to see the very same pantomime? I allowed Joshua to sleep until midday so that he would be wide awake as we have taken to the theatre several times in the past when the warm,dark environment has been conducive to sleep; the most memorable being a birthday treat with Grandpa of Lion King on London’s West End, when both birthday boys snored through the entire performance!
But I had high expectations that he would have fun because he was ‘full of it ‘ in the foyer while we had a drink before the show started : he was grinning at strangers, pointing and even poking some of them to get their attention. His interaction was mostly rewarded with a smile or a kind word, but I was relieved that he was in his wheelchair or else he would have been tearing around the foyer wreaking havoc!
The wheelchair seats were on the front row, and the stage set went right up to the front row. I was concerned as he was in his mischievous mood , sticking his foot out to trip people up as they passed him, for a joke! I had visions of the cast tripping over him and landing at our feet so I warned a few as they were mingling with the crowd beofre the show started! It was a fantastic show, with the perfect balance of music, action and colour to grab Joshua’s attention and it helped that we were right at the front, so in the midst of the action. He jigged up and down in his chair throughout the show, only stopping to bounce when a cast member played a musical instrument right in front of him – they brought us a violin, mandolin, guitar and saxophone!- then he was mesmorised.
Often Joshua has enjoyed the first half of a show but has been bored after the interval, unable to sustain his enthusiasm, but not yesterday, he continued bouncing right until the end. He made friends with the families around us too, igh 5ing and smiling so that they all said goodbye to him as they left the theatre. He only shouted out once, he called out ‘mummy’ at one of the female characters, but did not seem to put her off. It reminded me of when we took him to see a stage production of ‘The Snowman’ when he was small: there was lots of dancing to music but not much action and he yelled out in the quietest part ‘Press your button’, which in Joshua’s world meant ‘get on with it!’.
It was a huge success and we both had fun, though mine was mostly from watching Joshua. I consider that panto to be the final part of Christmas festivities