Storytime!

Storytime! felt less like a finely honed performance and more like an Apprentice challenge: in two days come up with a way of entertaining a group of five year olds for an hour. Don’t spend too much money and, preferably, don’t put too much effort into it. This would provide a reason for how little effort or thought has been put into this show, with C Theatre’s efforts being restricted to scattering some bean bags around, buying children’s books and proceeding to read them in the most patronising of manners.

The two performers took it in turn to read such children’s classics as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and Olivia by Ian Falconer. One read while the other held poorly made photocopies so that the children can see the illustrations. It would have made far more sense to have turned the book around and learnt the stories by heart, but I guess that might actually have required a bit of effort.

As reading books go, it wasn’t awful. It was just very bad. True, they read clearly and with expression and got most of the words right, but any attempt at spontaneity or sincerity felt forced, which was reflected in the lack of interest from the children (one child spent the entire time rampaging around her mother, with no interest in the storytelling going on mere feet away from her). There are a few attempts at audience interaction but no one – performers, children or adults – really gets into it.

The weaknesses of the show were truly revealed whenever a child attempted to talk to the pair. They simply could not deal with one rather egocentric young girl, who, during The Very Hungry Caterpillar, decided to mention how much she likes every item that he consumes. After attempting to engage her, they just plough on with the story. In a way, it was amusing to see how ill-equipped the pair were at dealing with this, prompting the thought that perhaps they have never come across the alien species of Children before. In fairness, this is not necessarily the performers’ fault. They do not appear to have blessed with a natural ability with children; it feels like they have been forced into doing this show.

The only thing that saves this performance is the reliance on the texts which do at least have interesting enough storylines. But if it is the books that save the show, it is a mystery why anyone would want to take their child to this. You should save on the ticket price and buy them a new book instead. When you read it to them yourself, I’m sure that both you and your child will have far more fun.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Join C theatre for a morning adventure! Contains daring quests, faraway lands, and a whole magical menagerie. Six stories everyday. 'Well worth seeing' (EdinburghGuide.com). 'The audience was spellbound' (List). 'The way fairytales should be told' (ThreeWeeks). www.ctheatre.com

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets