Review: Atomic 50: Time Travels in Tin

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Style: children’s hands-on experience
Where: Leyton Sports Ground
When: Until 30th April

Rating: 5/5 for kids 4/5 for adults

First of all, I should declare that I am a ‘Legend of the Forest’. This means that at various events throughout the year that Waltham Forest is the London Borough of Culture, I rock up in bright pink gear and help out. When I heard there was going to be an immersive experience as part of the festivities I was delighted, Then I found out it was for parents and children only (no adults allowed without an accompanying child) I was determined to volunteer to find out what Atomic 50 was all about.

What it’s all about is tin. Tin in it’s many forms. Making things with tin, making a case for tin as an environmental alternative to plastic, making children’s imagination run wild when it comes to all things tin.

The making experiences were brilliant as part of this show. I really enjoyed making my Atomic 50 badge. But these were only about half of the show, and the order in which I did the experience meant that we did all the making first and the watching and then drawing second which slightly slowed the experience for me.

However, that was a very minor bugbear. On the whole, what really worked was the delight on the children’s faces as they got to get practical with their hands. The actors were all charming and were adept at improvising and making sure that all the kids had equal experiences, from the very shy to the more forward. They were fun, interactive and jollied proceedings along wonderfully.

Immersive theatre for children is a wonderful idea. Children may be shy, but they don’t have that embarrassment barrier that stops so many adults from throwing themselves into an experience. The feedback from the kids at the end of each session I volunteered at or attended was glowing. They loved it and that gave the parents permission enough to throw themselves into it too.

Altogether a lovely experience.

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