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To take my son to see shakespeare?

(38 Posts)
Mama1980 Mon 16-Apr-12 13:45:13

Odd question I know I have a 4 1/2 year old ds home educated and we have just got back from Stratford where we did all the Shakespeare stuff. He now keeps asking to see a shakespeare play, he has been to the theatre before. I would be more than happy to leave if he got bored or made noise.

suburbandream Mon 16-Apr-12 13:49:01

Well if he is interested, I don't see why not - maybe you could go to an outdoor performance during the summer where any restlessness/noise won't matter so much? Or take him to see the Globe, they do tours of the building.

ABigGirlDoneItAndRanAway Mon 16-Apr-12 13:51:00

Maybe get a video adaptation of one first and see how he likes it, then decide?

Callisto Mon 16-Apr-12 13:51:04

There is going to be loads of stuff on R4 on Shakespeare, plays and what not. But no, YADNBU to take him to a play, go for it.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 16-Apr-12 13:51:49

Take him to something at the Globe Theatre in London. Even if he doesn't understand much of the language he'll enjoy the atmosphere - it's a great experience. Plus the Globe is a much more rambunctious experience than lots of theatres, so if he heckles he's unlikely to be the only one grin

LadyofWinterfell Mon 16-Apr-12 13:51:51

I would choose very carefully, some can be extremely dark in their interpretation, and all are rather long! Could you take him to see the Reduced Shakespere Company? They're fantastic! Or even Kiss Me Kate - The taming of the shrew?

TroublesomeEx Mon 16-Apr-12 13:52:14

Do it.

A really good production of Shakespeare transcends any language barriers. The stories are amazing.

I took DS to an outdoor production of Much Ado About Nothing when he was 7 and he loved it! I mean really loved it, he got all the nuances, understood the story. It was the "best thing" he'd ever seen.

I can't be doing with all the modernised versions. They are brilliant plays which, if performed well, are brilliant for all.

As much as anything, if he is asking to take him, then take him. The whole point of home educating is so that you can respond to his interests and not be bound by "ah well they don't cover that until year 3...". As long as you take him out if he gets bored (for his own and everyone else's benefit) I can't see why you wouldn't.

WorraLiberty Mon 16-Apr-12 13:52:20

He wants to go

You want to take him

You're happy to leave if he's bored or noisy

Why would anyone think YABU?

ComposHat Mon 16-Apr-12 13:55:26

outdoor Shakespeare is a good idea, Maybe in the meantime start with some books - both e.nesbitt and Mary and Charles lamb did versions especially for children that you could read to him.

The Mary/Charles lamb versions are lovely.

Leeds2 Mon 16-Apr-12 13:56:47

Shakespeare 4 Kidz do tours every year, with usually two different plays showing on alternate days. Might be worth looking into.

The audience is usually made up of bored looking GSCE students, but the performances I have seen have been good.

surroundedbyblondes Mon 16-Apr-12 13:58:39

I say go for it. Choose something appropriate. I went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream when I was little and I loved it.

HolofernesesHead Mon 16-Apr-12 14:00:47

Did you go to Shakespeare's birthplace? If so, was it good? I was thinking about taking the dc there over the Easter hols but it's quite pricey.

TroublesomeEx Mon 16-Apr-12 14:04:59

Surely Shakespeare 4 Kidz is the worst thing ever, what with its 4 and its Z!

If it truly doesn't demonstrate everything that is wrong with the country, it needs to find a new name!

Psammead Mon 16-Apr-12 14:05:12

If you go to the Globe, get a box. They have seats and it's easy to escape down the stairs if need be. I second the choose carefully suggestion. As You Like It rather than King Lear.

thegreylady Mon 16-Apr-12 14:10:13

Take him. We started taking DC at that age. We went every year they loved A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. We read the stories together first so they had a sense of the plot. There are usually special performances for children in Regents Park in the Summer. We took dgd to Dream there when she was 6. Stick to the comedies first maybe.

RoadToNowhere Mon 16-Apr-12 14:15:38

4 is much younger than 6 or 7, though.
You know his personality and capacity for sitting still and quiet.
If you do take him talk to the theate first. Make sure you have aisle seats near an exit. It's great that he's interested, and it would be wonderful if he enjoyed it, but you need to be considerate of the high prices other peolple have paid for tickets, expecting not to be disrupted.
Has he been to any other theatre performances?

oopsi Mon 16-Apr-12 14:28:21

' took DS to an outdoor production of Much Ado About Nothing when he was 7 and he loved it! I mean really loved it, he got all the nuances, understood the story. It was the "best thing" he'd ever seen. '

biscuit

TroublesomeEx Mon 16-Apr-12 14:30:27

Why the biscuit?

OP asked if it was a good idea and I told her our experience.

BelfastBloke Mon 16-Apr-12 14:32:31

FolkGirl, what do you mean by "I can't be doing with all the modernised versions"?

And what's wrong with a theatre company called Shakespeare 4 Kidz?

mrspink27 Mon 16-Apr-12 14:43:39

Go for it - if you are in London go to Regents Park - Midsummer Nights Dream in the Open Air is great - although maybe too many fairies! I started taking my DDs to Shakespeare when they were around your DS's age and we have the "simplified" stories in various forms, cartoons, stories at various levels and lengths. They have always enjoyed it and have taken what was important or pertinent for them from each performance. Even if it was just the costumes or the special effects.

TroublesomeEx Mon 16-Apr-12 14:45:19

I like Shakespeare.

I don't see the need for versions with modernised language. If they are performed well, the language barriers aren't relevant - you can get the gist, even if you don't understand every word and they sound so beautiful in the original language. I just think it spoils them. It's one thing if you're trying to show that the story is still relevant today, but it's another if you are just trying to appeal to kids and young people and assume that the only way to interest them in Shakespeare is to substitute numbers for words and s for z.

As far as Shakespeare 4 Kidz goes, if a play hasn't been rewritten to be all 'street' then the name does it a disservice.

Not every thing has to be dumbed down or made 'cool' for children to like it.

But, hey, that's just my opinion. I know I'm not alone, but I also know not everyone will agree.

MrsBovary Mon 16-Apr-12 14:50:02

Perhaps one of the children's adaptations might be more suitable for that age.
Though dd was a little older (6-8) and didn't enjoy it (The Tempest -Ariel, I think, was wearing scuba equipment). We tried Midsummer Night's Dream, the adult play, and she found it hilarious, and have seen several times since. The ballet version was well liked too.

MrsBovary Mon 16-Apr-12 14:52:04

Cross-posted.
Yes, agree. The dumbed down version wasn't enjoyable for dd.

MotherOfSuburbia Mon 16-Apr-12 15:01:05

If you're in London, Regents Park usually do a children's Shakespeare production - we've seen The Tempest and Macbeth there. They are still in the original language but are creatively abridged with children in mind without dumbing down.

Mine all enjoyed the Animated Tales which we got hold of on DVD - again, Abridged but with original language. Obviously some plays work better for small people than others - Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest are pretty much fairy tales anyway. I think most of the Histories would be a bit hard going and political for a 4 yr old!

Psammead Mon 16-Apr-12 15:02:15

I have never heard of 'Shakespeare 4 kidz' but it made me chuckle considering Shakespeare's thoughts on the letter 'z'.

"Thou whoreson Zed! Thou unnecessary letter!"

grin

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