My two boys and I headed to La Boite Theatre at Kelvin Grove today to see the holiday kids' show, Out Damn Snot. I can report that it's one of the best children's theatre shows that we've been to.
Produced by La Boite in conjunction with the Shake and Stir Theatre Company, Out Damn Snot tells the tale of bossy eight-year-old Mackenzie, clever best friend Kimmy, and Mackenzie's pesky six-year-old brother, Heath.
Mackenzie and Kimmy are filling in a boring day in the paddle pool, looking for a little excitement. Heath wants to join in but, in the way of older siblings everywhere, Mackenzie isn't having any of it. Not only is Heath an annoying little brother, but he also has a streaming cold and is spreading boy germs wherever he goes.
However, when Mackenzie and Kimmy decide to try out a magic spell from Shakespeare's Macbeth, they're forced to get Heath involved as the third 'witch'.
Unfortunately, he sneezes at just the wrong moment in the magic, and all three find themselves transported up his nose and into a land of snot, goop and booger fairies. Before they can get home, the trio has a quest to complete and some lessons (and funky dance steps) to learn.
Out Damn Snot does a great job of appealing to kids' grosser sides while still presenting a family-friendly show with essentially sweet values. There's plenty of action, some fun dancing and rhyming, and a clear narrative that keeps things moving along. The 'snot-surround' set is also great, with things dripping and oozing all over the place, much to the delight of the young audience.
The three leads (Amy Ingram, Nelle Lee and Nick Skubij) brought the children convincingly to life. But my favourite star on the day was the multi-talented Leon Cain, who flitted from Booger Bum Fairy to bagpiper MacBreath B Stinky and then on to rapper Picka D Nose and, finally, the roller-skating Lady of the Nose Flake, entertaining us all the way.
My sons, aged 9 and 11, really enjoyed the one-hour show, which featured some subtle wordplay thrown in with the broader jokes. I think most children over 11 would find it a little young, while those under about 6 years could find it a bit complicated (there were some littlies squirming near us by the 45-minute mark). The show also features strobe lights and extended blackouts, so take that into account when deciding if it's right for your children.
For kids in the 6 to 11 bracket, though, I think this is a great holiday 'pick', especially if you have a boy who doesn't usually like live theatre. It's on till Saturday 19 January, so hop on the La Boite website now and book tickets if you're interested.
PS There are tables and chairs inside and outside at La Boite, plus big grassy lawns if you want to eat or stretch your legs after the show. There's also a small cafe that sells good coffee but didn't have much child-friendly food when we visited.