Captain Flinn’s back at The Brewhouse!
I take the Muddies to live theatre any chance I can. They’re captivated by the magic of the lights, sets, costumes and ‘real’ performers and it fires their imagination in a way that’s a joy to see *wipes tear from eye*. I’ve found that for younger children, it’s important to choose the right show, see it in a theatre where they’ll get a really good view of the stage and knowing the story or characters beforehand can be helpful too. Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: the Magic Cutlass at The Brewhouse in Taunton on Sun 16 October ticks all those boxes.
The show’s the sequel to the award-winning Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, based on the book of the same name by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto. You can see why children love the book and the shows as they’re about two things that most of them adore – dinosaurs and pirates – set in a wacky, Monty-Pythonesque-for-kids world.
In Les Petits Theatre company’s new show, Mr T the T-Rex kidnaps Flinn, Pearl and Tom (ask your kids, if you don’t know who I’m talking about) and forces them to hunt for a Magic Cutlass, meeting swashbuckling dinosaurs, deep sea dangers and smelly sausages along the way. The show opened at the Edinburgh Festival in August to rave reviews and has been touring the UK since. Now it’s Somerset’s turn, with two afternoon shows in The Brewhouse’s spacious auditorium, where every seat’s a good one and no one has to peer around a pillar to see the stage. This is just one of over 60 high quality productions –theatre, comedy, dance and music – and events taking place at The Brewhouse throughout the year, many of them for families and children. Pretty impressive programming. In recognition of this, the Arts Council England have awarded the theatre its very first grant since it re-opened under new management in 2014. So good to hear about money coming into the arts in Somerset instead of the usual cuts.
Whenever we go to the theatre, the Muddies love having a coke, juice or fizzy water beforehand as well as the obligatory ice cream in the interval – it’s all part of the whole ‘going to the theatre’ experience. The Brewhouse bar sells booze, soft drinks, hot drinks and some nibbles and you can always admire the art on the walls while the kids argue over the last peanut.
As well as its programme of live shows, The Brewhouse now has a state-of-the-art cinema in the main auditorium with live screenings from the National Theatre etc, independent films and new releases. Coming up for older kids (15 +) there’s Captain Fantastic (eccentric Dad hits the road with six off grid kids) on Tues 18 Oct and for everyone, the new Disney film Pete’s Dragon over the Autumn half term (Mon 25 Oct). There are loads of workshops and classes suitable for children, young people and families too, like the Big Draw, Disco Ducks (dance for unders 5s) and a youth theatre group. I’ll be posting a Muddy half term guide soon with more info on some of these.
Parking’s easy, with the Coal Orchard car park alongside the theatre, Canon Street nearby but the Muddymobile usually finds itself in the long stay on Castle Street. We like the leafy riverside walk along the river Tone and can stop off for a sandwich, panini or cake at a very nice little independent cafe called The Shed (it used to be a public loo but don’t let that put you off) or pop into Pizza Express which is also very close to the theatre. All in all, a very nice day out.
Captain Flinn and the Dinosaurs 2: the Magic Cutlass is on Sunday 16 October, with two performances at 1.30 and 4pm. Suitable for all ages. Tickets are £11. You can buy online here.
The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre, Coal Orchard, Taunton, TA1 1JL. Tel 01823 283 244. thebrewhouse.net