*The girls and I were given tickets for a showing of My Silly Yum (as part of the Kick and Push Festival) in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and/or those of my daughters.*
Last year my parents, my husband, my eldest daughter Emma and I attended a showing of Shipwrecked as part of The Kick & Push Festival. My second cousin, Jacob James, was a main character, which was our movitation to go, but we loved every minute of it! I did a little investigating of the festival at the time and I thought what they were hoping to accomplish was amazing. Having a theatre festival that was innovative, as well as inexpensive, with lots of show options, really appealed to me.
Excerpt from the website:
“The Kick & Push Festival began the summer of 2015 as a collection of theatrical events presented by Theatre Kingston, Blue Canoe Productions, Single Thread Theatre Company, the Cellar Door project with special guest presentations from Convergence Theatre and FixPoint Theatre. The festival hosted 6 productions, 5 masterclass workshops, 3 panel talks and several community engagement events throughout the city from July 15- August 15. The 30 day festival engaged audiences from across Kingston as well as the province with 26% of audiences coming from outside of Kingston to see the festival.”
2016 is the second year The Kick & Push festival has taken place in downtown Kingston. I would love for you to read the mandate of The Kick and Push Festival here. They are striving to make theatre accessible to many more people by having a lot of selection at a lower price. This year they are doing a Storefront festival in three empty storefronts downtown, and the tickets are only $8/adult and $5/child.
This year the festival runs from July 15th to Aug 13th. There are 6 Festival Productions, 3 Masterclasses, and 14 Storefront shows. Another feature of this year’s festival is the T-Kids Drama Camp. Emma will be participating in this camp for a week in August. I’m very excited to see what she learns from this camp!
Review of My Silly Yum
The production the girls and I saw, My Silly Yum, is one of the first Storefront Festival shows and we saw it in the old Blockbuster on Queen St. I didn’t really have any idea what it was about, but there was a mushroom on the poster. Well we got in there and the first thing I read on the program was about mycelium! With my science background I should have been able to piece that together. For those who don’t know, the program defined mycelium as such: “In botany, the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of an underground network of fine white filaments.”
Anyway, all the science stuff aside, the play was great. My kids were totally engaged from the first minute. I didn’t realize it was a puppet show. Two characters and a forest with mushrooms, and no dialogue. It played out very well and the puppeteers really made it come alive. I was very impressed with the show. The only nit-picky thing I want to mention is it was barely half an hour long. As an adult I thought it was really short. For the kids, though, it was a perfect length of time. I don’t know if the other shows (that are less geared to kids) are any longer.
After the play was over, we were all invited to come closer to the set, have a look at it, and ask questions of the performers. The set items were very neat and the performers were extremely happy to talk to the kids about whatever questions popped into their heads.
I would recommend seeing any shows at The Kick and Push Festival this year. There are a few more I’d love to see, but my summer is quickly filling up with other plans! If you do go to any shows, please let me know in the comments. I’m always excited to hear what other people thought. I love watching people perform and really enjoy what they’re doing. It ensures I have a good time and enjoy myself.
I know I will we sure to see at least one item from next year’s lineup as well. I do hope they bring back the Storefront Festival in future years as well!