A couple of weeks ago, Lucas and I were invited to watch Sponge, a Big Imaginations production at Z-arts in Manchester.
Z-arts was formed in 2000 as a ‘creative space for young people’ with a priority on providing participatory activity. Creative learning is still at the core of everything they do, both inside and outside the building. They pride themselves on providing a welcoming, vibrant and safe environment for the whole family to enjoy.
Sponge embraces all things spongy. Set against 1970s music, the performers danced and played with various spongy objects. The atmosphere was very relaxed and joyful. The children and parents sat on the floor at the side watching and interacting with the performers. There are also seats in the theatre but it was lovely to be sat down, fully embracing the experience with the performers.
Lucas isn’t one to sit and watch, he wants to be involved in everything and when he got up and wandered into the performance area, the male performer scooped him up and popped him in a trug dancing and swirling Lucas within the performance before dropping him off at the side. Lucas’ face was an absolute picture, he was so happy and not at all phased. However, it did make him want to keep getting up so I apologise now for those that witnessed his tantrums as I tried stopping him going back onto the stage. As we were sat at the front, it was easy to leave whilst he calmed down before re-entering without disturbing anyone.
I absolutely loved the performance, it is so refreshing to see a production that wants to involve the little ones and encourage their own creativity. After the performance, the children were invited to all play with the sponges before leaving.