This guest post was written by Mary Ward who attended Stan and Mabel and the race for space with her family for the purpose of this review. Thank you Mary (and family!).
We went along to the Square Chapel, next door to the Piece Hall in Halifax to see a family concert from Music in the round called ‘Stan and Mabel and the race for space’. It’s a cute story about a cat and dog who help a group of wild animals find a safe place to live after the city expands and the wild space shrinks. The concert includes projected illustrations from the book, a group of musicians, ensemble 360 and a narrator,
Polly Ives is the resident animator who tells the story and encourages the audience to join in with some catchy songs and the actions to go with them as well as introducing the musicians and their instruments. You can even lean the songs before you attend the concert as they are on YouTube.
We all really enjoyed it, it was a new experience for the children (8 and almost 5) to see a live orchestra. It’s a small venue so we were really close to the action which was lovely. My youngest is quite musical and didn’t hesitate to join in with the signing and actions and his brother who is more reserved was also keen to join in and said afterwards that it was good fun. They’ve both talked about the instruments and story since.
Polly, the narrator, was really engaging and the musicians were really smiley and friendly and happy to demonstrate their instruments and have some fun including dressing up in animals costumes for the finale. They even stayed to chat with the children afterwards, although mine were a little shy. I’ll definitely look out for more from Music in the round and highly recommend them for families with children from about 3 upwards.
An added bonus to the day was a stroll around the newly refurbished Piece Hall which is fabulous for its beauty and history and full of quirky one off shops, everything from crystals, chocolate, books, homeware, records, specialist gins and lots of steps and fountains for the kids to enjoy. We parked nearby for £3 so it was a relatively inexpensive full day out.