Fast-paced acrobatic circus show The Party, will take to our stage at 1.30pm on Thursday 13 April. We caught up with performer and Artistic Director of Nearly There Yet theatre, Kaveh Rahnama, to find out more about the show.
What can the audience expect when they see the show?
I think first and foremost they can expect to be very, very entertained! It’s a combination of story and circus which isn’t seen too often in children’s theatre. I play the central character, Cameron. It’s my party. As you’d expect at a party, there are some pretty big surprises. It’s just incredibly fun. And everyone’s involved. That’s my favourite thing. Everyone is involved.
What gave you the idea for the show?
The show actually came about through a conversation with a friend’s mum back in 2014. I asked what a good setting for a kids show was. She said, what about a birthday party? It was just very fertile ground for making a show. I watch a lot of children’s work where the joy the adults take is mostly from the children’s experience – which is brilliant. I suppose we just decided that we wanted to keep the grown-ups entertained too so there are plenty of moments for the parents. I won’t spoil it, but the end scene is very much worth waiting for - especially if you remember the 80’s and a certain man by the name of Patrick Swayze.
How did you get into circus and acting?
I trained as an acrobatic base but I have been on stage since I was a child really. I didn’t receive any formal training as an actor but have developed that side of my work through working with directors who have pushed and challenged me with text and acting.
Why do you think it is important for parents to take their children to live theatre?
Wow. Big question, big answer. I think watching live theatre with other people – having a shared experience which you are all invested in is vital for the health of a society. We watch problems arise, we see solutions offered, we watch people succeed and fail and we are encouraged to examine ourselves as humans and question our own and others behaviour and the effect it has on others– something which I feel is not done nearly enough in the world today. Children, in my opinion, are the cornerstone of our society. They are, after all, the future. So, without meaning to sound overly dramatic, I’d say children watching live theatre is a huge part of encouraging a healthy future for our society.
What is the best thing about performing to children?
Just the total engagement. Kids buy into what you’re performing in a very different, far less judgemental or cynical way than adults do. If they like you they tell you, if they don’t, they tell you. I find that a lot more straightforward! [There is a] scene in the middle of the show where Cameron has to learn a pretty important lesson. The kids get really involved in the morality of it all and amongst the craziness, there is a very serious message which comes out at this point. I won’t spoil it too much but as a performer I find it enormously satisfying.