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Nov. 2nd 2016

Cuddles and conversations

By Al Orange

 

 

Kicking and Screaming is quite a big show to get into a space in one day.  We have lighting, live sound, a set with lots of bits that need putting together and projection, and as technical manager, I often don’t get to see that much of the places we are visiting as my days are filled with wiring and programming and sound checking, and I sometimes spend far more of my time with my equipment than I do with the other members of the cast.

 

But there is one moment that I enjoy more than any other on this tour, something that helps to wash away all the tiredness and stress of managing the show, and that is the simple pleasure of cuddling babies, and talking to parents.  We have been doing a series of baby-friendly shows in most of our venues, and it is an extraordinary moment in time.  Quite apart from providing a much needed opportunity for new parents to be included in the arts, they provide such a wonderful atmosphere and shared social space.

 

Parents take a lot longer to leave an auditorium than other theatre goers.  Babies need changing, they need feeding, they need the chance to crawl around on the play mats after having sat still for over an hour.  And this is where I have my special moment.  I have had so many wonderful conversations with parents, who have really shown their appreciation for how we have created a space of them and their children.  It is extremely heartening to know that we are doing something that is so precious to people, that we are addressing an access need that has been ignored for too long in so many areas of society.

 

And then there’s the cuddles.  I have met some very special tiny people, and remembering them brings a smile to my face.  There was the little girl who was fascinated by my pink hair, and stopped crying every time she saw me.  There was a beautiful little boy who just had the softest head in the world.  There were two lovely little twin boys who just kept wanting to hug each other.  And all of them seem to love the music and the lighting just as much as their parents are enjoying the play.  I’m extremely proud of the special shared experience we have managed to create, and Kicking and Screaming is one of those shows that will always have a place in my heart.

 

For the purposes of illustration here is me cuddling Tangled Feet stunt baby, Claude.

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  • The most accessible and original theatre company working in the UK today”

    The most accessible and original theatre company working in the UK today”

    The Stage
  • Tangled Feet offer a glimpse of magic”

    Tangled Feet offer a glimpse of magic”

    Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
  • For Tangled Feet, theatre is a contact sport”

    For Tangled Feet, theatre is a contact sport”

    The Stage
  • Tangled Feet, the masters of physical theatre”

    Tangled Feet, the masters of physical theatre”

    The Independent
  • They are defining the future of theatre”

    They are defining the future of theatre”

    The Edinburgh Guide
  • An astounding spectacle..a uniformly excellent ensemble…stunning”

    An astounding spectacle..a uniformly excellent ensemble…stunning”

    www.fringereview.com