Arts & Culture round-up: The cruellest month

Arts and culture 610TS Eliot wrote that April is the cruellest month. But I reckon the toughest weeks of the year lie in February. Cold, dark and gloomy, with the Christmas festivities a dim and distant memory. And author Jay McInerney happens to agree. So there.

Everything feels a bit deflated on the arts and culture front this month. After last month’s bonanza edition of this round-up, which included all the post-Yuletide reviews of shows, we’ve had a much quieter time. But thankfully, just like those cheeky little snowdrops and daffs, colourful buds are beginning to shoot up, in the form of springtime listings and attractions.

Punchdrunk Enrichment's Against Captains Orders is at the National Maritime Museum this Spring. Pic credit: Stephen Dobbie

Punchdrunk Enrichment’s Against Captains Orders is at the National Maritime Museum this Spring. Pic credit: Stephen Dobbie

 

A top draw for half-term is the Fairytale Trail at Leeds Castle, which looks stunning in this post by Mari on the BritMums blog. And on the Pigeon Pair and Me I’ve put together a list of 15 cultural family treats for the Spring, which features more attractions for half-term, like the Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival, and Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs at Greenwich Theatre. It includes some gems (which I’m VERY excited about), like an interactive performance by Punchdrunk Enrichment at Greenwich’s National Maritime Musem; and Adventures in Wonderland, a Alice-themed experience hosted by Les Enfants Terribles in the Vaults under Waterloo Station.

a highlight of this Spring will be Adventures in Wonderland, an interactive performance for over 5s based on Lewis Carroll's book, in the Vaults underneath Waterloo Station

a highlight of this Spring will be Adventures in Wonderland, an interactive performance for over 5s based on Lewis Carroll’s book, in the Vaults underneath Waterloo Station

Disney’s Frozen continues to hold its position as top movie of choice for little girls; the franchise is going from strength to strength, with new dates announced for the Frozen-themed Disney on Ice. You can find these on Mari’s World, or Me and My Shadow. But, asks, Swazi on Chocolate is Not the Only Fruit, although the film presents a new, more up-to-date type of female character, where are all the non-white characters in Disney films? It’s an interesting post, well worth a read.

Another great read is a post on Who’s the Mummy about Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood, and what it can teach parents. It’s the small moments that matter; and a childhood zooms by in a flash. If those thoughts don’t make you feel sentimental enough, why not check out Penny’s list of family films for Valentine’s Day, over on Parentshaped. It’s a great set of recommendations for snuggling down with the people you love best (don’t forget your hankies….)

A couple of West Country bloggers have been out and about, sampling shows. The Parent Game hired a box at Bristol’s Old Vic to see Swallows and Amazons, and the post debates whether or not they’re a good way to view a performance when you have young kids in tow. Also in Bristol – this time at the Hippodrome – Practically Perfect Mums went to see War Horse, which she said was THE best performance.

this half term you can catch Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs at Greenwich Theatre

this half term you can catch Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs at Greenwich Theatre

A handful of other posts caught my eye this month, which give ideas for family activities. The Mum Blog went to see Cirque Du Soleil’s Kooza at the Royal Albert Hall. The youngsters at Family Travel Times enjoyed the ‘Churchill’s Scientists’ exhibition at London’s Science Museum. A Family Day Out decided to explore the non-Shakespearean attractions of Stratford-on-Avon, and visited the MAD Museum. And, if you’re very quick, you might just be able to catch Grandad, Me and Teddy Too, at the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon. Mummy and Boo went to see it, and it sounds a treat for the whole family, especially grandparents.

What have you been up to this month? And – thinking ahead – what are your plans for World Book Day? Do let me know!

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About Nell Heshram

Nell Heshram is a writer who blogs at the Pigeon Pair and Me. On her blog she shares tips on arts and culture for kids; family travel; and what’s new in her home town of London.

1 Comment

  1. 06 February 2015 / 22:43

    Thanks for featuring Practically Perfect Mum’s “Warhorse” review Nell. The children and I are lucky enough to be invited to many top quality musicals each year and as its often difficult to find an age guide before going, I include our opinions on age suitability as well as feedback about all the shows we’ve attended from both an adult and child’s perspective. I’m glad you liked the review. Wicked is next on our list this month and I’m expecting it to be a great treat for half term. Great round up!