Fun, creative and educational. As parents, we’ll probably all agree this is what we look for in entertainment for our kids. We’ve just experienced Project: Oggbots from the brilliant not-for-profit Brighton arts company Root Experience, and it ticked all the boxes.
As a big fan of immersive theatre, I fell in love with the likes of Punchdrunk and DreamThinkSpeak way before I had kids. Over recent years we’ve been lucky enough to experience some of the best site responsive performance at festivals like BoomTown and Shambala as a family. With all the excitement of shows you can become part of, regular theatre has become somewhat like just watching a movie for my kids. It takes a lot to entertain them these days!
We arrived at Project: Oggbots with absolutely no knowledge of the show or what to expect. The flyer features a young detective and calls the show an intergalactic treasure hunt so I told the kids we were going to be explorers. As usual, six year old Hunny was very excited but eleven year old Daisy, gave her usual, slightly uninterested tween shrug.
After being handed a grid reference map in the Brighton Dome foyer, we were sent off on our adventure with a group of around six kids and four adults. It became apparent that none of the adults knew anything about the show, so we were all in the dark.
Our first grid reference took us to the library where a dark glassed man in black lurked around the entrance on his walkie talkie. As Brighton is a regular haunt for strange people we weren’t entirely sure if this quirky character was anything to do with the show, but on entering the library we were quickly rushed in by a hilarious character who explained all. She told the kids about the secret agents, showed them how to avoid them, and gave us detail of the mission.
The show takes a fun treasure hunt format and weaves around the streets of Brighton, bumping in to quirky characters and completing challenges along the way. Having recently experienced a great adult escape game challenge with Handmade Mysteries, I just loved this interactive gaming idea for kids. The actors were exciting and engaging and encouraged the kids to get creative and active and become part of the show.
Kids love role play. A chance to forget regular life and jump right in to the moment of now. A make-believe world where anything is possible. Root Experience offer the ideal form of interactive theatre for children. Inspiring creativity and turning play in to purpose. They make the skill of delivering blended learning seem effortless. Kids are left with a real buzz for science without the feeling that it is anything to do with school or education.
My youngest loved the show from start to finish and I was thrilled to see my eldest leave with her little Oggbot asking about circuits and even requesting a science kit for Christmas.
Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) were all subjects that completely passed me by in school. As a student that received all A’s and B’s in GCSE’s for every subject other than these, I feel frustrated that I was not engaged by any of my teachers. My memory of science classes that a disorganised teacher in a dirty white lab coat who spent the whole lesson shouting at us and sending children out of the class for setting things on fire.
Did you know, in 2015, only 14.4% of the UK’s STEM workforce were female? With the current battle for equality in the work place it’s vital we show our children that all roles can be filled equally by a male or female. Empowering our girls that they can become anything they want in life. Organisations such as Stemettes and a few famous female scientists are moving some way to changing things, but there is still a long way to go. Clever girls still lack confidence in some subjects and pursuing high paid careers in science and technology.
Let’s encourage more girls in science.
Root Experience blend silliness and science effortlessly, leaving kids with a real buzz for adventure in to the unknown.
Hunny aged 6
‘I loved it! We had to run away from the secret agents and I didn’t trust the man in the glasses. He told us we had to go with him but I didn’t want to. Then a lady said he was OK cos he had shiny shoes and we could trust him’
Daisy aged 11
‘Project: Oggbots was fun because we got to make these little robots and take them home. It was quite hard getting the wires in the right place so some of the kids needed help. The secret agents were cool and we had to keep running away from them’.
Project: Oggbots is brilliant immersive theatre for kids and is at the Dome in Brighton until 30th October.