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Kingston Upon Thames
24-26 High Street, KT1 1HL
08444 821 556
The Rose Theatre is a 900 seat venue in the centre of Kingston with a design based on London's famous Elizabethan Rose Theatre. The theatre has the same oval shaped stage, semi-circular seating configuration and pit area as the London theatre it's inspired by. In the pit area, audiences can get right up to the action and sit on comfy cushions to watch performances.
The Culture Café is also great and welcoming place for parents. We have groups for babies and toddlers across the week including the ever popular Rhyme Time every Monday morning from 11.15am. So if you want a break from shopping or work come and visit Kingston's most unique and welcoming venue. You don't have to be a theatre goer to visit - so pop in and say hello.
First, a confession. Despite living in the area for over 10 years I visited the Rose Theatre in Kingston for the FIRST time on Sunday (14th June) - taking my family to see a production of Stick Man by Julia Donaldson. With George (7) and twins Tom and Ellie (3) we were relieved to see how child-friendly the Rose Theatre is. From the cheerful staff armed with stickers to the roomy café with play area, it all helped to reduce the stresses that theatre trips with children can bring.
Stick Man is a bedtime favourite so it must have been read at least 150 times in our house! I was fascinated to see how Scamp Theatre would turn a tale about a small stick - captured by animals and nearly set on fire - into visually compelling theatre. Using impressive powers of imagination, they did a superb job at telling the story with music, dance and puppets. And also plenty of humour and audience participation - a beachball was tossed around the audience at one point, which went down well. The production stuck firmly to the text of Stick Man - I'm sure hearing those familiar lines helped the children stay engaged. My three were engrossed for the whole hour, with minimum wriggling. It felt as if Scamp Theatre had some affection for the story. Which brings me to my second confession. I've always found Stick Man a little bit frustrating and passive compared, say, to the resourceful mouse in Julia Donaldson's Gruffalo. But I came away with a new perspective. Perhaps I've been too hard on Stick Man...he was only doing his best in trying circumstances!
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