“So Much Drama”

This image is CP approved.

Drama Workshops for 5 – 12s
Children's Workshops
The Merchant's Hall
13th - 18th August

Operated by Spotlites Theatre Productions, Drama Workshops promises kids the chance to ‘create [their] own stories and plays, with costumes or face painting, scriptwriting or puppetry, stage combat or singing and dance!’

That said, it’s not the job of reviewers to quote promotional blurbs verbatim – their duty is to review shows in their own words. That way, parents can make an informed decision as to which productions are worth taking their kids along to. Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling whether Spotlites’ Drama Workshops are a big ball of fun or a yawnathon from start to finish.

Sadly I was unable to review this show for ‘CP reasons’, to quote the promoter. (The CP standing, not for Cheese Pizza, but Child Protection). Apparently, it’s acceptable for the father of a young daughter – two young daughters now I come to think of it – to look after said girls. However, for that same father to passively review a drama class attended by other people’s sons and daughters without first undergoing extensive background checks would be completely unsound. This makes perfect sense, which is why I whole-heartedly support this policy. It’s also why my six-year-old daughter was asked to review the event on my behalf.

I don’t mind that I took an hour out of my morning and a note out of my wallet to taxi across town in vain – which is why I haven’t mentioned this fact in my review.

As Burns would aver, however, the best-laid plans gang aft agley, and this one – which had already gotten off to a shaky start – was foiled the moment my daughter refused to be coaxed out of bed. There may be a lesson in there about the perils of letting your kids stay up till 3am during the Fringe, but that’s a tale for another time – today we’re learning about the dangers of allowing unvetted reviewers to attend children’s productions.

Without my slumbering daughter to accompany me, I took the trip to The Merchant’s Hall more in hope than expectation. Both were to be dashed, however, when I was politely but firmly turned away. Ten days ago this same reviewer may have been watching a puppet show in a bus with a bunch of toddlers, but that was then and this was now. Just as different venues have their own rules concerning photography, it is natural that some theatre companies should enact stricter child protection policies than others.

I don’t mind that I took an hour out of my morning and a note out of my wallet to taxi across town in vain; I’m clearly not bothered about it, which is why I haven’t mentioned this fact in my review. While I can’t comment on the merits of Spotlites’ Drama Workshops, I’ll wager that they’re worth a full five stars if you’re a kid and assure you that they’re worth zero stars if you’re a big kid. That makes an average of 2.5, which can be rounded up to  three because I’m feeling generous.  See; I ain’t even mad.







This month, Ed Uncovered will be reviewing 25 Fringe shows, from kids’ to comedy. Whether they be good, bad or utterly soporific, you can get the lowdown in our Fringe 2012 section, which will be updated daily.

Since our last attempt at a rating system (scoring video games out of 79) was such a raging success, we’ve decided to adopt an entirely new system for the Fringe: each show’s rating will be represented as a shooped reaction face. Of a cat. Because…well, just because. We’ve got an entire folder of this cat’s RFs, and it seems only right to put them to good use, helping people make an informed decision about the merits of each show. Let kitty be your guide, cos that’s as close to a rating system as you’re gonna get.