Children’s Theatre: Mr Shell’s Seaside Spells
Venue: Pocklington Arts Centre
Review by: Julia Pattison
The children’s theatre show Mr Shell’s Seaside Spells was about to begin at Pocklington Arts Centre, to the great excitement of the young audience eagerly anticipating an hour of mirth and magic.
The colourful set looked warm and inviting, and upbeat music set the seaside summer scene.
This was the first time I’d seen Magic Carpet Theatre, but having experienced their fun, family-friendly show at their afternoon show on August 7th along with my three year old grandson Bram, I can quite see why Arts Centre director Janet Farmer loves having the company over to Pocklington regularly; quality, live entertainment at its best.
Jon Marshall revelled in his role as evil council inspector Hector Fludd, and in true Victorian “hiss and boo“ melodrama tradition we all thoroughly enjoyed participating.
The carefully thought out show meant that Jon was also able to multi-role and play Sandy Shell the Magician too.
There were lots of opportunities for young volunteers to help Charlie the caretaker (wonderfully portrayed by “Dangerous Steve“) and Sandy Shell, and it was delightful to see the youngsters so enthusiastic and involved in the action on stage.
The show was full of good old-fashioned fun, and pitched at just the right level; for example the appearance of a large green octopus (featured tantalisingly on the flyers) gave the children a fleeting frisson of fear, but was soon quickly followed by reassuring slapstick and silliness.
From colourful and soothing underwater scenes, beautifully lit, to the marvellous magic tricks towards the end of the show, we all fell under the seaside spell cast by these experienced, charismatic actors.
Smiles all round as we left the auditorium.
Here’s hoping that Magic Carpet theatre fly back to Pocklington very soon.