Looking for a Christmas show that caters especially for the very young and won’t have them wriggling in their seats with boredom?
The Hey Diddles, a Holmfirth-based childrens’ theatre company, promises performances that actively encourage little ones to get out of their seats, dance, sing and shout.
Founded by friends Lisa Kendall and Sally Norton five years ago, The Hey Diddles filled a gap in the entertainment market. The women had noticed that families were reluctant to take youngsters to the annual Holmfirth amateur panto because they were worried small children would fidget, talk, demand trips to the loo and be a nuisance to other members of the audience.
As Lisa says: “Live theatre is the most fabulous experience and it seemed unfair that young children should have to miss out, so we decided to create a show especially for them. Parents can feel comfortable bringing young children along to watch us, safe in the knowledge that wriggling, chatting and wandering about is completely allowed.”
This year The Hey Diddles (aka Sunny, Poppy and Skye Diddle) will be bringing their Christmas show to Moldgreen United Reformed Church on Saturday, December 17, and Holmfirth Civic Hall on Sunday, December 18.
Lisa, Sally and the third ‘Diddle’, Zoe Martin, are all mothers who understand the needs of small children. Sally explains: “Every show we have a little gathering of toddlers at the front of the stage, all joining in with us. Our shows are hugely interactive and we’re always asking for the children’s help.”
The entertainers take their shows around nurseries, schools and playgroups and are already having a busy Christmas. While Zoe is a full-time mum-of-four, Lisa and Sally are full-time charity workers and use their annual leave in order to perform.
Their festive offering this year is entitled The Long Night Before Christmas and explores the ‘too excited to sleep’ phenomenon that many parents will be all-too familiar with.
Tickets for the Christmas shows are £5 (babies under 18 months go free) from www.theheydiddles.com
Other shows in our area catering for young children include:
Cinderella, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield – until December 31. Suitable for all ages.
Rudolf, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds – until December 31. For ages two to six.
Snow White, Civic Theatre, Barnsley – until December 26. For all ages.
Best Ever Christmas Show, Leeds First Direct Arena; Wednesday, December 28. For preschoolers.