Travelled Companions‘s 5 More Minutes was a work-in-progress performance as part of last weekend’s YoungFest at the Bluecoat – a family-friendly taster of the annual Physical Fest that kicks off properly next week.
What a welcome addition it proved to be all round – with physical theatre performances, puppet shows and activities suitable for all ages, in gorgeous weather and completely gratis, YoungFest (for what MADEUP caught of it) showed Liverpool’s creatives in their best light; inclusive, accessible, collaborative, imaginative, and wonderfully entertaining.
The 5 Minutes More show took place in the Bluecoat’s main performance space, inviting children and parents to take off their shoes and sit around the stage area among pillows and stray socks (or “ocks”, as me 17-month-old says). Our players, Leila Chebbi and Liam Tobin, were going through the bedtime routine – teeth, bath, pyjamas… and sleep? As if!
With a gentle guitar accompaniment courtesy of Joe Hirons, the non-verbal performance in such an informal setting made the company’s clowning perfect for younger children. Babies could dip in and out as their attention span allowed – the sock puppets and bubbles went down a storm with MADEUP Jr, before he got hungry; and more inquisitive older kids could express themselves without hijacking events (even if they had a mind to bum rush the show, it didn’t matter one jot).
It’s early days for 5 More Minutes, the show is still in development and meanders past its 30 minute time slot to lose a little momentum towards the end; but its relaxed yet imaginative approach to storytelling and gentle, welcoming environment made for a fun and enjoyable afternoon.