Seaside Show Captures The Joy Of Friendship…

An award-winning family show which helps children get to grips with friendship and their relationships with their peers is coming to Norwich.

Crabby tells the story of a crustacean who loses his shell after being cursed by a mermaid and needs to find a new one as quickly as possible.

He is a little grumpy and finds it can be difficult to get what you want if you are in a bad mood.

The show, which will be performed at Norwich Theatre Royal’s Stage Two on August 17, will see Crabby encounter a seagull, a trio of jellyfish and an oyster who help or hinder him along the way.

Set at the seaside in Edwardian times, it aims to assist the young audience to understand how to deal with anger, frustration and tantrums, with one of the performances specifically for children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD).

It is suitable for babies, toddlers, primary-aged children, and young people with learning difficulties. Performances are also relaxed so audience-members with autistic spectrum conditions, or other emotional and behavioural needs, feel comfortable watching the show.

After each 35 minute performance, there is also up to 15 minutes of sensory play for children and adults to enjoy some mindfulness time using the company’s travelling rock pools.

The show itself is the brainchild of the company Collar and Cuffs. It was founded by former youth worker Julia Collar who decided to develop theatre after the traumatic birth of her twins in 2012 and nearly dying from a huge pulmonary embolism.

Together with her sister Ellie, she decided to develop Crabby as a not-for-profit theatre show specifically for 0-7s and children with special needs to help them develop playful strategies to be calmer.

The show premiered last year and has already been seen by over 2000 children at nurseries, theatres, festivals and community events.

It also won the Best Children’s Show Award at the 2018 International Youth Festival and has been nominated for a National Diversity Award.

Julia Collar said: “With up to five children in every classroom now having a diagnosable mental health issue, it has never been more important to help our youngest and most vulnerable children learn life skills in handling big feelings. The show is ‘anger positive’ so the aim is not to never be angry but to learn how to express it safely and not be frightened of big feelings.”

Crabby will be at Norwich Theatre Royal’s Stage Two on Saturday 17 August at 10.30am and 2.30pm. With the 12.30pm performance especially adapted for children with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties). Tickets £10 Adults and £6 Children.

To book, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.