The buzz of bOing! 2014

At the weekend the bOing! International Family Festival came to the Gulbenkian in Canterbury.

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Driving up to the UKC campus (where the Gulbenkian is) always brings back fond memories of my time there as a student.

My son was very excited about this trip because we had been invited to see Bleu!

We read up about the show before arriving and he was looking forward to seeing the ‘mysterious sea nymph’.

The show was magical.

Without any words, the children in the theatre were drawn in to the dialogue of the music and the dancing of the two characters: a sailor and a mysterious sea nymph.

The story follows the sailor finding a pearl that the sea nymph has dropped into the sea. He then goes on a magical adventure into the depths of the ocean.

What was also lovely were the little voices from the audience of children asking their parents lots of questions…“What’s that light there?”, “Who is she?”, “Is that a mermaid?”…

When the children started being invited on the stage the show become so much more engaging.

My son was desperate to be invited up…and although it looked like he wasn’t going to be asked, he finally got a chance to play with the light on the stage – he was so excited!

Not all the children got to go on the stage though, so it would have been a nice touch to have invited those children up at the end so they could investigate the ‘magical lights’ for themselves.

* * *

After the show finished, we left the theatre to explore the other elements of bOing! on offer outside.

There was a great buzz around the grounds with various tents and things for the children to explore.

The £2 face painting was excellent – there were so brilliantly painted children wandering around…and a few adults!

You could also pay just £1 and do the face painting yourself!

As well as seeing Bleu! we also got to see a couple of the free events – The Market Stall and Trolleys.

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Both of these were excellent and pulled in quite a crowd with a mixture of circus skills, parkour and dance.

* * *

As well as these events, inside the Gulbenkian there was also a fab costume area.

We made a bee line for the masks…

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With tickets for the shows being just £5 and various free events, this was a brilliant family festival.

I was therefore delighted to be told that next year bOing! will be a week long festival!

We can’t wait for that!

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