31 August 2013

Three Colours

The start of school always reminds me how much I loved LOVED shopping for school supplies. Back then, you could buy a big brown sack filled with all the needed materials. I prefered going to the store and picking out my originals.  

Mom would read off the needed items and I selected my favourites from the store's shelves: spiral notebooks, folders, pencils, ruler, erasers, glue, red marking pencil, and a box of Crayola Crayons. 

Do you remember your first box of Crayola Crayons? 

Just as you do with eggs,  I carefully inspected the crayons before purchase to ensure there were no broken ones, and that all tips were chip-free. My prized pastels were meticulously organised by their hues, and hidden from the grimy fingers of younger brothers. 

Yes, I admit, I was OCD from a very early age. It sent shivers down my spine to watch classmates neglect their crayons and smash their perfectly pointed tips on the sketch pad. Even now, I cringe when Ouisie peels off the crayon's sleeve or snaps them like a matchstick. 

As a young artist, I could not get enough blue violet in my drawings. In later years, it was burnt orange and forest green. These days, it's magenta and pink-- Ouisie's favourite shades of red. 

What is your favourite colour? 

With a toddler, my days (and house) are brightly coloured with paint, crayons, markers and play-doh. It is messy. It is creative. For both, it is pure delight. 

I simply adore colour.

Recently, Ouisie and I enjoyed our first mother-daughter theatre outing to see Three Colours, at the Polka Theatre. As it was an early years production for children ages 2-4, it was a natural choice. And though the production was only 35-minutes in length and the train ride (one-way) was 50 minutes, I knew we colour enthusiasts would enjoy it. 

Polka Theatreestablished in 1979, remains one of the few UK venues dedicated to producing and presenting work for young audiences. Public transportation is recommended as it is just a ten minutes walk (with toddler in the pram) from Wimbledon's main station.

They offer a variety of theatrical experiences for children ages 0-13, to include workshops and after school courses. The theatre runs throughout the calendar year, except from late August - late September when they close for annual maintenance. 

We arrived 45-minutes before the performance as there are activities for children to burn off excess energy such as; antique rocking horses, a large trunk filled with costumes, an outdoor play area, colouring, books and reading nooks. 

We were asked to remove our shoes before entering the Adventure Theatre as the space was draped in white fabric. The children sat on the floor and were immediately engaged with the actors who shined little torches on spinning prisms. The crystal gems cast light around the dark space. 

For the next half hour the children, and parents, were drawn into vivid imaginary landscapes created by three colours. We swam in the deep blue sea, hopped in tall grass with green frogs, and kept warm by a crackling red fire.  

Below is a promotional video the Polka Theatre made for Three Colours.

Ouisie squealed and rattled off the play-by-play for the whole performance. She was desperate to join the dancers on stage. She, too, wanted to play with the colours. 

At the end of the show, the children were invited to join the actors and play with some of the colour props. Ouisie took the opportunity to also practice a few pirouettes. We were the last to leave, and Ouisie was only willing to exit after the promise of a bonbon.

With bright blue skies, we enjoyed a picnic in the theatre's garden before heading off for some shopping along Wimbledon's High Street. We later took the red train back home to our green pastures. A perfect day trip.

Polka Theatre's website is now a favourite bookmark of mine. It should also be yours. 

Next month, Ouisie and I travel to the USA to visit family.  My mom has booked tickets for two children's plays. Ever since Three Colours, Ouisie keeps requesting to go to the theatre again. 

And for that, I am tickled blue violet!

For more information on Polka Theatre please find link to their website here

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