Calling all young knights and damsels of York: get thee to Camelot without delay. Last weekend we took our oldest little Viking to see The Legend of King Arthur, York Theatre Royal’s ambitious summer production. I have to admit we were a bit worried. At three and a half, he’s not one for sitting still for long periods. He’ll watch an episode of Mike the Knight, but would he really be able to sit and enjoy a show that lasts just over two hours? We stocked up on (quiet) snacks, told him the gist of what it was about before we arrived, found our seats and hoped for the best.
It turns out I needn’t have worried. What small boy wouldn’t revel in a story involving dragons, knights, sword fighting, computer games and all-round general wizardry? The script was pitched just right for the young audience, and the use of live music, graphics and audience interaction had them mesmerised. The plot was easy to follow for little ones and the present-day scenes and references made it feel modern. There were lots of nice touches, including on-stage knighting of the children who’d attended the ‘knight school’ workshop before the performance. To make the most of the experience, we’d definitely recommend arriving early and getting involved in some of the many activities that the theatre has laid on, whether that’s the Heraldry Workshop, Knight School or Quest (a rare opportunity for a nosey behind the scenes). Our little Viking’s verdict? “Excellent”.
The Legend of King Arthur runs at York Theatre Royal until Saturday 31 August.