Why every day should be Baby Day at the theatre – Lyn Gardner explains
Monday 3rd April, 2017
“It’s Sunday afternoon on a bright spring day, and the foyer of the Lyric Belfast is stuffed with prams and families. In the main house, Cahoots NI’s production of Nivelli’s War, a stirring tale of wartime friendship and survival, has just finished. The studio is about to put on Replay’s Woofle, a daftly enjoyable performance with silly songs made by Dan Leith about his relationship with his much-loved dog. In the foyer, Children’s Books Ireland is holding a book clinic and there is face painting and workshops. Two toddlers dance together in the hubbub.
This is what every theatre in the country should look like on a Sunday afternoon. Parenthood can leave even the most ardent theatregoers feeling unwelcome as theatres seldom court families, often seeing prams and young children as a burden not a blessing. Too often theatres present themselves as grownup spaces, cut off from everyday life, adding to the perception that theatre takes place in sanctified cathedrals and is not for everyone, only those who are already believers.”