CREATING fun shows to help children connect with live theatre is a serious business.

Kate Ashmead, producer for Crafty’s Creepy Castle which visits Shelley Theatre in Boscombe during February half term, recognises the need to cater for younger audiences, especially children under seven.

“With live theatre under threat, to create shows on a level with a targeted audience helps develop an interest from an early age,” Kate told the Echo.

“This is probably the most honest audience that a performer has in front of them. You can tell from the stage if they are locked in or disengaged.

“With Crafty’s Creepy Castle, we wanted to make this an immersive experience where a 40 minute show becomes a meet and greet, and where children are encouraged to be curious and use their imagination.”

Katy Potter, mum and director of Theatre Exchange which brings Moonbrella to the Shelley during half term agreed: “We wanted to create something which could be performed in places which families regularly access.

“Also something enchanting, musical and fun but where the children can have room to wriggle about and explore, so why not bring it to the local audiences in fantastic venues such as Shelley Theatre?

“Creating theatre that is targeted at children has to be more than just paying attention to what is on stage. Our show is 35 minutes (targeted at 18 months to five years) and then we have an explore and play experience where we want all the children to still be part of something that becomes more immersive.”

Moonbrella is on Thursday, February 15 followed by Crafty’s Creepy Castle on Sunday, February 18. For more details. visit or call 01202 413 600.