I never win anything but this year our local council run a competition to win a pair of tickets to the relaxed performance of James and the Giant Peach. It was an evening showing, way past Ethan’s bed time, and it would also mean only one of us could go with him but I entered thinking we wouldn’t win anyway.
When the email arrived to tell me we had been picked as winners, I couldn’t believe it. I was excited that I had won and that we were going to get that chance to visit our local theatre for the first time. We then had to work out our plan of attack for this visit.
It was decided that I would take Ethan whilst Darren stayed at home to look after Little E. We ate an early dinner so that we could get there for its 6pm start and I packed my bag with Ethan’s favorite snacks.
I was quite nervous as I haven’t taken Ethan out on my own for well over a year now. I always have Darren with me on days out or trips to watch things, and he is normally the one that can keep Ethan in place if things all get too much for him.
We told Ethan what we were going to see as we got in the car and he spotted the sign for the show when we got to the theatre. He was quite excited about it and eager to get out of the car. We timed our arrival perfectly so that we had enough time to find our seats and make ourselves comfortable only needing to wait a few moments before the show started.
I’m not that familiar with James and the Giant Peach but we had been sent a visual guide so we had an idea of what to expect and how long each act was. The performance was amazing, there was so much detail in the set and the use of music and songs really helped to hold Ethan’s attention. For a local theatre I was really impressed with all of the details and it easily matched shows I have seen in the West End.
Ethan sat really well for the first act, he did have anxiety about the young man sitting next to him which meant he was happy to sit on my lap and clap along to the songs whilst I pointed out different things to him. During the interval we did had a moment where I thought Ethan was going to be sick. We quickly made it into the bar area and I was able to purchase Ethan an unchilled water which helped save the day.
At this point I did think about leaving but Ethan settled back down OK whilst I kept praying for him not to be sick. Thankfully the moment passed without incident, just a bad case of hiccups.
Ethan got his confidence during the second act and discovered the seats. He liked the fact that he could pull them down to sit on them, this resulted in a quiet fight of me trying to stop him doing this over and over again. Ethan won! I asked him a few times if he wanted to leave and each time he told me no. I really wasn’t sure if we should or not but I’m glad we decided to stay as he really enjoyed the second act. Ethan even danced, jumped and flapped to the music, whilst playing with the chairs of course!
I was worried that Ethan was disturbing the people around us but thankfully the people in-front told me they loved how much he enjoyed it. Adding that this is what a relaxed performance is all about, being able to be yourself.