The Theatre Tots books are fantastic and a great hit with my son. We love the simple but unique idea of adding actions and questions to the books that make them truely interactive, fun and are brilliant for emotional intelligence. We would highly recommend them as they bring a whole new experience to reading that is full of smiles. I will be ordering more for presents!
Helen Cunningham

Camp Bestival blog

7

Car packed to the brim, excited children, excited cast. It must be Camp Bestival time!

This year marked our 4th year at the festival. I am very proud of our presence there and it's a highlight in the Theatre tots calendar. Every year we perform a show at 9.30 am each morning at the bandstand area. It's a trilogy across the 3 days and people come back with their coffees and bacon rolls to see each instalment. As with all Theatre tots stories it's high drama with a cliff hanger each day......

TT material is original, written and composed by our team to suit our target age group and context. This year the theme for Camp Bestival was 'Camp Bestival goes wild!' so we opted for one of our favourite existing tales - The mix up middle bird. Already one of our published books and a 30 minute show the challenge was to devise 3 x 30 minutes shows to suit the environment.

Key to all our shows, but especially at camp bestival, is audience interaction and participation. Everything we do is aimed at under 6's and the interaction is vital to keep them engaged and enthused. I always have a lot of fun coming up with new ways to get parents and little people in the shows. In the past we've had giant pass the parcel games, water fights, and huge ball games as well as a generous amount of dancing, singing and 'vocal' contributions. This year we had an assault course, face painting and parades amongst others. There is certainly no 4th wall in these shows and each year we get more ambitious about what we get our audiences involved in.

Our Bestival highlight is our hard core fans. We have 3 families in particular who have come to watch every year since we started there. They know exactly where their magic shoes are they aren't afraid to use them. They even send us fan mail which we love. Long may they continue.

Camp Bestival has a vast array of entertainment on offer. Just when you think you've seen it all along comes something new and innovative. Each festival there is something or someone new. Over the years I have enjoyed watching my children and their tastes in entertainment change. It's a family festival and there really is something for everyone. From the sports events to theatre to birds of prey and the fabulous arts tent. Not only does it satisfy current interests it sparks new ones. For example my eldest son now a big Alison Moyet fan and number two son learnt how to make a carrot whistle - incredibly hard and incredibly useful. Number 3 son (10 months) was a bit young this year to demonstrate any new skills but he did impressive bopping to Level 42. ....

The festival has the added benefit of being at the beautiful Lulworth castle. If the amount of FUN gets too much and you are seeking an hour of peace the beach is a ten minute drive. My festival always finishes with a dip on the sea at the exceptional Durdle Door. Good way to wash after 3 days camping.

As with any festival you can do it at your own pace. You see a variety of approaches from the very organised who have their days planned down to the minute to the more free flowing families who drift and soak up the atmosphere. As performers we fall between the two. It's the perfect working holiday.