ASK FIVE QUESTIONS – GA GA THEATRE
After a sell out first season Ga Ga Theatre is back with a new show. The children’s theatre company will be performing the first ever stage adaptation of Quentin Blake’s family favourite picture book ‘Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave.’
Touring London during October Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave will be showing at some fantastic venues including Royal Albert Hall, Clapham Picturehouse, Jackson Lane Highgate, Watermans Brentford and Hackney Picturehouse. To book tickets and see a full tour schedule visit www.gagatheatre.co.uk
We chatted to Ga Ga Theatre founders Rachael Richards and Katie Russell….
Tell us about Ga Ga Theatre?
Ga Ga Theatre is a children’s theatre company, which puts on high quality productions, which are accessible on a local basis. We tour with our productions, which means we can put on performances in local venues so families don’t have to travel great distances to see our show. Every Ga Ga Theatre production is a multi-sensory show with original music, magical projections and innovative props to keep all members of the family absorbed and entertained.
Why did you set up Ga Ga Theatre?
We’re both mums and know how amazed, engaged and engrossed children (and adults!) can become when watching a show. It doesn’t end there. Children often extend the experience with imaginative role-play games, which they invent for weeks after the performance. However, theatre trips can seem like a huge commitment, both financial and logistically, often becoming a once a year Christmas treat. We knew there was a gap in the market for a theatre company that created a relaxed, local, stress-free theatre experience which would capture children’s huge imaginations and entertain adults at the same time. After lots of research, planning and hard work Ga Ga Theatre was born!
Some of your shows are in cinemas, why is that?
Most areas in London (and across the UK) have a local cinema. They have tiered seating and an area at the front to build a stage so they are the perfect venue for a Ga Ga Theatre production. It also inspired us to incorporate the cinema screen into the live theatre performance through an AV/projections and lighting effects to create a completely multi-sensory performance, which we have called “cine-theatre”.
What drew you to Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave?
Our first production was based on the picture book Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers. It was a great success so we had a lot to live up to! It was fun choosing a book to base our second season on and we spent many hours researching! We decided on Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave because we love the humour, energy and almost Monty Pynthon-esque repetition throughout the book. E.g. the way Mrs Armitage keeps swimming back and forth to shore and adding more gadgets and contraptions to her surfboard! She’s also a fabulous, eccentric and yet practical women -we’re sure most families have a Mrs Armitage character in their lives!
Finally, the illustrations, by Quentin Blake, are amazing. As AV is an important part of our show, when we license the stage rights to the performance from the author/publisher, we also license the illustrations, which our AV designer (film-maker) adapts into the projections as the backdrop to the piece, we thought they could be brought to life brilliantly on the screen.
Who is the show aimed at?
Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave is perfect for all the family but particularly children up to 8 year olds. Adults will love the production too, after all we’re all big kids at heart!
Thanks girls and we can’t wait to see the show!