Product Tested By Kate Patane – Carter Aged 4 years
Kate Awarded The Beauty and the Beast Pantomime at Millfield Arts Centre 5/5
Initially before I went to the theatre, I thought it was a suburban theatre, difficult to get to and producing second rate theatrical productions. Well was I wrong! The theatre is new, modern and caters superbly for families unlike the theatres in the West End. I am pregnant and there were plenty of seats to sit down on prior to the show, there were great family meals available and it was really clean. When I saw the tickets were "M” seating I was not impressed but actually it was perfect viewing and as the theatre is not too large, the view was perfect. In fact I would choose such seating in future as there was plenty of space to come and go with children who need to go to the toilet etc. I was not excited to be going to the show. I had a busy weekend and nobody wanted to accompany my son and I as the theatre was too far away. However, as it was Christmas and I really wanted my son to see a pantomime this year, I made a super effort. I managed to convince my husband to come along with our 18 month old son so that we had some company but it was hard work getting them to go the theatre. The show was absolutely fantastic. My 4 year old son was enraptured from beginning to end, my 18 month old was clapping and wide eyed the whole show, my husband was smiling and awake (considering he had worked the night shift with little sleep) and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. My four year old son understood the story clearly. As we attend children’s theatre weekly, he thought we had to leave at the interval but when I explained what had yet to happen, he waited patiently for the second part. All the way home, he retold the story over and over. The characters were wonderful and very well suited to their parts. The casting was perfect and a real surprise to me given that we were not in the West End. The cast were awesome and in fact better than I have seen in the West End. The show definitely captured my children’s attention, my children were extremely happy throughout the whole show. All the way home, my son talked about the show and his favourite character. He asked questions and we were able to discuss the moral of the show and the storyline. I was absolutely amazed. The production was excellent. I attend theatre weekly with my son and it was polished and engaging. We all had a wonderful time and I managed to get the whole family there and happy without any complaints during or after the show. That made me really happy as Christmas is a great family time. The price of the family ticket was quite expensive but no different to other shows at this time of the year. The theatre was very accommodating to families and raised no concerns about our 18month old son, which was wonderful. Perhaps to fill the seats, last minute tickets could be sold at half price or some other offer be made available making the show a little better value for money. It would have been better if it had started on time. The theatre would not allow people in until very close to starting time and elderly people just couldn’t meet the timeframe. Hence we started very late. Also, the 1.15pm time slot was extremely difficult for me. Luckily my child does not nap in the afternoon but not living in the area and having to sort out lunch etc. made me a little wary of attending. Once you attend the show, your effort is well rewarded but by just looking at the show times, I was put off initially and I really had to force myself to attend for the sake of my children. Morning performances and 3pm afternoon shows are much easier for families. Yes definitely recommend. It is a little expensive for families to be honest but if one adult and one child went it might be more affordable. However, we will be attending the Millfields Arts Centre again for future performances now that I know how easy it is to get to and how accommodating it is for families. In fact, my son has asked about whether we can attend the shows entitled "Bob the Builder” and "The Numberjacks” already. This is a production well worth attending. Parking was very simple, close to the theatre so no danger or parking issues with children. Food was available on site so no hungry children and there was soft play and lots of seating for waiting. The whole experience was enjoyable and relaxing. A wonderful Christmas memory with the whole family. Kate Patane – Carter Aged 4 years
Product Tested By Sophie Gent – Poppy & Flo Aged 4 years and 15 Months
Sophie Awarded The Beauty and the Beast Pantomime at Millfield Arts Centre 5/5
I was quite excited to be going to the show as we were going for a family experience with my mum. The theatre is very nice and very child friendly. The only criticism I would have is that during the interval, Poppy wanted and drink and all they had was water or coffee. I was really excited to be going to the show. It’s the first pantomime the children and I have been to. I think my mum was more excited than me! Poppy loved the show, she was glued to it. I was quite concerned about taking Flo, as she is quite a noisy baby, but even she was quiet and couldn’t take her eyes off the stage. Poppy understood most of what was going on. Flo obviously didn’t have a clue but the colours and sounds kept her entertained. The cast were fully interactive as you would expect in Panto. Poppy kept talking about the show all the way home and now wants to watch the Disney Beauty and the Beast film. My daughter has talked about it since, all the way home and is asking for the Disney DVD. The production was really professional and slick. It is quite expensive, so to pay out for it before knowing what is was like would be a risk, but having now been, it is well worth the money. I can’t think of any way the show could have been improved. I would definitely recommend this to friends and family. It was a great production. We all had such a lovely day out going to see this show. My mum got to have a really lovely time with the girls and will be a great memory for Poppy. Poppy loved the show so much she now wants to the Disney DVD. Sophie Gent – poppy & Flo 4 Years and 15 Months.
Product Tested By Maureen Bailey – Lisa & Gillian Aged 4 & 6 Years
Maureen Awarded The Beauty and the Beast Pantomime at Millfield Arts Centre 5/5
We were all looking forward to having fun at the Panto and the girls were very excited. We live very locally so easy to find and found it easy to park. The theatre is a lovely place, nice venue, and certainly geared up for the family. Food and drink available too and toilets were nice and clean, and chairs comfy. This is the first time we have been to Millfield for a panto and a fantastic experience. Lisa and Gillian absolutely loved the show; they were so involved and captivated the whole way through. They loved the story, the way the characters interacted with them and they just adored every moment. You should have seen the look on their faces worth every penny as the entertainment value was Excellent. The cast, the story the show was superb. The girls just loved every moment. I have already looked online and we will certainly be attending more productions at Millfield as the show was really excellent. They had a perfect outing, loved the show and talked about it for days after. When you see your children just enthralled by a production and such a great Panto then it really is worth the money. Well worth going and looking at other productions they have on all year round. The show was perfect just as it is. We have already recommended and will be going back. A wonderful day out for all the family and Lisa and Gillian had a very special day and loved every moment of the panto. Fantastic. A professional production, great theatre and superb entertainment. A must not miss! Maureen Bailey – Lisa and Gillian Age 4 & 6 Years.