Yesterday I escaped the ever increasing stacks of boxes and “stuff” that filled my lounge, and headed with the kids on the bus into Leeds, for a little last minute adventure and some fun to see “The Scarecrow’s Wedding” at West Yorkshire Playhouse. 

The Scarecrow’s wedding is possibly the only Julia Donaldson book I failed to read to my kids whilst they have been young (mum fail), and yet whilst we were pretty clueless as to the plot beforehand, it didn’t phase us. A trip to the theatre was the perfect half term adventure, and in true Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler style, it was fun, witty and joyful. And we thoroughly enjoyed the production of it.

Straight from London’s West End, it tells of the story of two scarecrows “Betty O’Barley” and “Harry O’Hay” who love each other, and so of course decide to get married! Harry then sets off to search for their wedding day essentials including a dress of feathers, a bunch of flowers and a necklace made from shells, and meets all kinds of characters along the way.

Meanwhile, back home, when the farmer notices he is missing a scarecrow, he replaces Harry with the devilishly smooth but dangerous “Reginald Rake”. Dashing, daring and ever so cool, you begin to wonder if Harry will make it back on time or if Reginald will put a spanner in the works?!

Oozing with incredible talents, laughter and jokes galore, this play is engaging for all ages and actually really funny. There were so many laugh out loud moments, captivating tunes, and imaginative props and costumes. The kids loved every minute, and Megan could not sit still – (a) because she’s Megan, and (b) because she was THAT excited to be there!  But it didn’t matter, as this is the perfect place to capture kids imaginations and love for the arts, all whilst embracing their wriggly ways!

Megan was definitely the most enthusiastic of my kids, whilst E played it a little more cool. She laughed, shouted along at certain points and got very involved… she danced in her seat, laughed some more, and bursted with joy. Then, as soon as the lights when up, she lent in and told me “that was THE best thing EVER and everyone just needs to see it”!!! I was delighted it was so good and that both her and Ethan had sat and enjoyed it.


I found the Actor who plays several of the characters (including the farmer) absolutely hilarious and generally incredible with every role he took on! They all have great chemistry on stage and it worked well with just the 3 actors.

Overall we thought that it was cleverly created, with a great set (something Ethan especially loved) and country style music you can’t help but toe tap along to.

We all had a wonderful day out and both Ethan (6) and Megan (almost 5) absolutely loved it. Alice too loved watching the action and bounced along to the beats of the quirky tunes.

I am loving my kids keen interest in theatre and that we had such a lovely day out yesterday to see another wonderful production at West Yorkshire playhouse, they really are the hub of great shows!

Following the fun, laughs and adventures at the Playhouse, we enjoyed a wander around the City, market and had a cheeky subway lunch. It was a lovely day and one I am glad to have braved with 3 kids in tow solo.

Why not end half term with the sound of wedding bells and a crazy farmer, and pop along for this “down on the farm” adventure. You will not be disappointed!

The Scarecrow’s Wedding is on at West Yorkshire playhouse until Sunday, and tickets are just £12.50 each. It is recommended for ages 3+ and is the perfect length once again for wriggly bum kids at just 55mins, with engaging performance throughout.

*Thank you to West Yorkshire Playhouse for inviting us to see this in return for our thoughts on the blog! 

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It’s been ages since I laughed so much at the theatre like I did today with Ethan, his date and her mum, when we had the pleasure of seeing “The First Hippo on the moon” at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

I have never read David Williams book that this stage performance has been adapted from, but that’s okay. You don’t need to know the story to appreciate and enjoy this marvellous adventure which features puppetry, music, mayhem and a giant space race to the moon! It was absolutely brilliant with fantastic props, costumes, jokes left, right and centre, music and a feel good moral. The cast worked incredibly hard and it was plain to see from start to finish.

As Megs was at Grandma’s, Ethan invited one of his female friends and so of course we mothers did what we do best and bigged it up to be a date! Complete with some sneaky hand holding on the way, smuggled lolly pops and lots of laughs, it was everything you’d want for a date at 6 years old (with or with out parents).

I loved to see not just them, but the whole theatre (old and young) laughing their heads off. Such a great atmosphere and even better – It kept their attention through out and was the topic of conversation on the way home too. Ethan said “It’s the best best bestest play in the world, because it is all about trumps and Poo-poo (every 6yr old boys dream apparently!!), and the hippo uses poo to fill the rocket up!”.

If you want to know what he is chatting about, then get yourselves to the playhouse for a gander! There are 2 days left to see this, with at least 2 performances being shown, and the kids will most definitely love it.

I really do love the theatre, and being there with my kids. It’s so special and exciting, especially when it’s a bit quirky, and more so when its quirky and laugh out loud funny. It was the perfect thing for kids from 3 upwards and the length was perfect and it captivated us all! I cannot say enough how brilliantly funny it was – I look forward to sharing more from David Williams with the kids, its right up our street!

Thanks to the West Yorkshire Playhouse for giving us a complimentary visit in return for our review.

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Just before Christmas, and after finding a copy for £2.99, I introduced Babe to my kids and they absolutely loved it! I have had it on our “must see” list for a few months now as they both love animals, talking animals, and thoroughly enjoyed Charlotte’s web also. As with that, they were full of questions, laughs and wonder and I was delighted that they instantly loved one of our childhood faves. I was so excited then to see that it was coming to the West Yorkshire Playhouse this February and have already booked tickets for us to see it…we can’t wait!

Adapted from Dick King-Smith’s much-loved children’s novel which inspired the Oscar-winning 1995 film, Babe, The Sheep-Pig will play at West Yorkshire Playhouse from Weds 15 – Sat 18 February at the beginning of a UK Tour. Featuring stunning puppetry, an original score and an utterly charming ‘baa-ber sheep’ quartet, it tells the story of the lovable Babe in a heart-warming tale of friendship, adventure and bravery.

Here at The Hearty Life we are giving you the chance to win a family ticket to see the production at West Yorkshire Playhouse (or the venue of your choice), as well as the opportunity to meet Babe and the cast after the performance!

Win! A family ticket to See Babe, The Sheep-Pig live on stage in 2017

To enter simply follow the instructions below:
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*A family ticket is 4-5 tickets depending on family size.

To see where Babe, The Sheep-Pig will be performing, visit www.BabeThePigLive.com. Recommended ages 5-11.

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When I was younger the theatre was something you did if you were a little bit posh or a student of the Arts. I can’t quite remember when the first time I visited a theatre was, perhaps a primary school trip or something. But I do know that from a young age I was very much attracted to stages, music and performance…it just drew me in and everything about it made me happy.

I feel strongly now as a mother that as it makes me excited, and as I have such fond memories associated to theatre experiences, that it is only natural that I would want for my kids to enjoy it too (or at least see the beauty in something I am passionate about). Of course then I was over the moon to be invited last week to see Rudolf at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and even more excited to give Alice her first taste of theatre (theatre before food…we must be posh!). Whilst I had no idea what to expect both from her or the play, I just hoped she would be chilled out and that it would be a lovely afternoon out doing something I enjoy with my littlest…and it was just that.

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Rudolf sees Santa’s most famous reindeer discover the importance of kindness on a magical journey of discovery and friendship in this witty, laugh out loud, family fun performance.

All he has ever wanted to do is pull Santa’s sleigh, “but only the best reindeer get to that. And the best reindeer don’t have red noses”.  It is such a lovely play, where you get to feel a part of Rudolf’s journey, from worrying he doesn’t fit in and feeling like he’ll never get the chance to pull Santa’s sleigh, to meeting the kind Ugly Duckling and many humorous adventure’s in between…the question throughout though is – will he make friends and fulfil his destiny?

RPS 011- Mitesh Soni and Peter Hobday in Rudolf. Photography by Anthony Robling.

Both Mitesh Soni and Peter Hobday were brilliant! They interacted wonderfully with the audience and continued well through kids chatting, babies whining and people rustling…it really is a family friendly performance!

The majority of it saw Alice standing on my knee staring at the stage. She loved what she was seeing, and it dawned on me that theatre is the perfect sensorial experience for babies and youngsters. For Ethan and Megan I know they would see the entertainment factor, and are drawn in to the story line…their imaginations run wild, and they ask a tonne of questions throughout any theatre experience. But for Alice the joy came through the lighting, movement and sound. She watched and followed the actors and with each sound effect and lighting change her body would jump, move and fixate. She seemed to love what was going on and it was only in the last 15 minutes that she became tired and fidgety, which was easily controlled with a feed!

We had a lovely afternoon together with friends and I just thought how perfect the performance was to introduce young children to theatre this Christmas. The whole thing isn’t very long (maybe 45-50mins), but is engaging and imaginative throughout. It has elements that appeal to everyone in the family from babies to older kids alike, and is a wonderful Christmas adventure that is the perfect after school or half term treat this Christmas time for your family!

RPS 005 - Mitesh Soni and Peter Hobday in Rudolf. Photography by Anthony Robling. RPS 004 - Mitesh Soni and Peter Hobday in Rudolf. Photography by Anthony Robling. RPS 002 - Mitesh Soni and Peter Hobday in Rudolf. Photography by Anthony Robling.So why not head down and ignite the imaginations of your children in this delightful story of the true meaning of Christmas. I found it funny, heartwarming, captivating and clever, and just long enough with a baby in tow! It is on NOW at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and runs until the 31st December…so be quick – it is selling out fast.

*Thank you to West Yorkshire Playhouse for inviting us along to preview Rudolf in return for a review. Images of the performance were taken by Anthony Robling and provided for the purpose of this review.

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