Huddersfield children’s entertainers the Hey Diddles have a new member for their trio in time for their Christmas shows.
Sally Norton and Lisa Kendall had the ‘light-bulb moment’ to form the Hey Diddles after Sally took her young boys to watch Australian group The Wiggles in July 2013.
The two mums, who belong to the local Holmfirth amateur dramatic group Turn Again Theatre, decided that there was a serious gap in the local market for pre-school entertainment and so created the Hey Diddles.
Joining them for the first time this year is fellow Turn Again Theatre actress Christine Middleton who was approached to join the group when Zoe Martin, who played Hey Diddles character Skye, decided she needed to concentrate on her family and a new career direction.
Sally, who plays red Diddle Poppy, said: “We were so very sad to lose Zoe, but as we were both already friends with Christine it was an easy decision to ask her to join us.”
The Hey Diddles were created to try and bridge the gap between live theatre and young children.
Lisa, who plays Sunny, the yellow Diddle, explained: “I regularly direct the Holmfirth pantomime and I discovered that many parents didn’t feel able to bring little children to watch live theatre for fear of them chatting too loudly, wriggling about, needing the loo etc.
“This seemed so unfair on the very small children because, merely through age, they were missing out on the fantastic experience that is ‘live theatre’.”
The singing and dancing mums felt they had what it took to do something about this and created the Hey Diddles, a show aimed specifically at pre-school and early years children.
The show they’ve created is hugely interactive and high energy with children being encouraged to get out of their seats, join in with the actions, shout out answers, sing along and dance.
Sally added: “Now the mums can bring even the youngest child, safe in the knowledge that they’ll not only be among a like-minded audience, but also that the entertainment on the stage is specifically aimed at them.”
Christine said: “I’ve performed in theatres for many years but what I’m most looking forward to are the one hour shows we will be performing in schools and playgroups this Christmas.
“I love how the Hey Diddles show includes not only favourite children’s songs, but also lessons about being kind, tidy-up time, teaching colours and also simple counting.”
The Hey Diddles are once again, this Christmas, returning to perform at Holmfirth Civic Hall and Moldgreen United Reformed Church. Last year the Holmfirth Show sold out in just six days.
The Hey Diddles Christmas Shows are Moldgreen United Reformed Church on Saturday , December 16 at 2pm and Holmfirth Civic Hall on Saturday, December 23 at 2pm.
Tickets priced at just £6 and under 18 months free; available from www.theheydiddles.com .