I recently went along to see DadMan: The Bathtime warrior at Cast.
Created and produced by the Notnow Collective, who aim to challenge and extend the meaning of ‘family friendly’, by creating theatre performances at which babies are welcomed, they encourage mums and dad’s to bring along babies under 18 months old – brilliant idea, no need for a babysitter!
I gathered together a couple of my Mum-tribe and as our ‘babies’ are now a little older than 18 months, we took the opportunity to have a rare night out without them.
Performed in the second space at Cast – the show was partly quiz, partly story, with music and songs and a bit of fantasy. The actors made it clear from the start that if anyone had children in the audience, that this was fine and the babies/children were free to make noise, do what babies do, even move around on to the stage. It was clear that the show was, as per their branding “100% baby-proofed”.
From the childbirth song and shared parenting – yes there was a man with a fake baby belly – to breast feeding, projectile vomiting and the PTA they covered a lot of ground.
The Dad’s reflected on things like losing you identity a little when you become a parent – forever known as ‘daddy’ rather than their own name. They spoke about being trusted to do things like dress their children, which made me chuckle and i’m sure if Mr Mumbler had been at the show he would have felt their pain. One Dad discussed buying a coat for their child, only for it to end up in the charity shop 3 weeks later. I cast my mind back to when Mr Mumbler dressed mini mumbler in a top and ‘leggings’ which were actually tights. Wasn’t a good look but at least she was warm!
The show was only 60 minutes, which seemed to pass fairly quickly and I did think that it was a suitable length of time for a child – any longer might have been pushing it.
I think that if this kind of thing had been around when my children were babies, I would definitely have gone along and taken them, if only to feel like I was doing something a bit more grown up! I think it is a great idea and love the fact that Cast have embraced it and bought it to Doncaster. I’ve been to see lots of interactive productions with the children in the second space at Cast, it’s a great area.
At the Notnow Collective baby friendly matinees, there is reduced sound and lighting, so it is suitable for delicate little eyes and ears.
The Notnow Collective are continuing their tour and will be in Halifax on the 1st and 2nd November.