The mole with the poo on his head – in theatre
On Sunday, February the 25th, I visited the ‚Theater am Schlachthof (TAS)‘ (theatre at the slaughterhouse) in Neuss with my daughter for the first time. I only became aware of the establishment when I saw a flyer in a restaurant, although the theatre is already running since 1994.
In addition to children’s theatre, TAS Neuss also offers drama, cabaret and readings for adults (maybe an idea for our next mom-and-dad evening?). For young people, there are exciting projects such as an improvisational theatre duel.
The building in which the theatres are located is a former paint factory. There are two separate entrances for the children’s and the adult theatre. The wall is decorated with huge posters showing thought-provoking quotes of Goethe, Eminem and Kästner. With parking we had no problems. There were enough parking spaces directly at the theatre.
It was very cold on this Sunday. I was worried that we would be freezing at the ‘slaughterhouse’, but it was neatly heated. Only on the toilets we have slightly shivered (although the bathrooms were great equipped with changing table and diapers!).
Actually, you can see well from all seats in the theatre. Nevertheless, there was an offer at the entrance to take car booster seats off a shelf so that even the youngest could see well. Great idea! After the play, all parents took the seats back and tidied them up.
My daughter & her theatre experience
My daughter is now four years old and already has a bit of theatre experience. Her kindergarten regularly organizes excursions to family concerts in the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, to children’s plays in the Schauspielhaus and to the Nature Stage in Ratingen at the Blue Sea. She has visited the puppet theatre on Hemholtzstrasse in Düsseldorf a couple of times with us. The Krefeld Christmas Circus has been part of our permanent program for 2 years. Nevertheless, we have to be careful that we do not overwhelm her. While circus and concerts are not a problem, she often begins to fear plays. She can not distinguish reality and fiction. This is also often the case with reading books to her. The last two times we had to leave the puppet theatre before end of the play because, for example, a talking pullover with big googly eyes was just too scary for her. We already knew the story of the mole, who wanted to know who made poo on his head, from the children’s book with the same name. The play was advertised for people from 3 years onwards, so I wanted to give it a try. Actually it was planned that a kindergarten friend should come along, but unfortunately she had to cancel the morning because of illness. My daughter’s mood and motivation to go to the theatre wasn’t big anymore. Nevertheless, I persuaded her that it would be fun to do something with Mama alone.
The play took an hour without a break. The mole was played by a very sympathetic actress. Her not less nice colleague slipped into all the different animal roles that face the mole in his search for the guilty culprit. I had to laugh in some places really loud about the presentation of the different characters. It was so entertaining: there was the conceited goat with handbag trying to teach the mole to walk like a model. She was so that she could only do her poo behind the tree. There was the rabbit, who shot with his bunny-heads as a karate master with a headband. There was the tired horse, to whom everything was too exhausting and who constantly chewed apples. The funniest thing was the pig, who wallowed with swimming cap, swimming ring and toilet brush in the compost heap of the mole and it spoke with a funny accent. It was not boring at all. Nevertheless, there was again the moment when my daughter cramped and whispered in my ear that she now wants to go home. That was when the mole sat down on his hill in the evening and begun to cry because he has not found the right animal that made the poo on his head. That was too real and too sad. When the mole announced that he had to meet the mean dog he was so afraid of, it was almost time for us to go. “We know from the book that the dog is not really that bad,” I said. It would be a pity to get up and leave so close before the end of the story. So we stayed. Thankfully, the dog was very cute and sweet. He apologized to the mole, and the two got along again. Namely, the mole has put a little poo of himself on the dog’s head in return coach while the dog has rested.
Before we got up and left, my daughter asked, if the mole was real. I said “no honey – this is a normal woman who is an actress and likes to play funny stories for children in the theatre. Like your grandma does sometimes” (my mother runs a small theatre in the Eifel region). Then it was all ok.
At the exit the two actresses stood in their costumes and said goodbye to the children. Each child got a picture postcard coloring with the mole as a a give-away. With such little things you can wonderfully round off a visit to the theatre and make children happy. In addition to the shelf with the car seats was also a container with rolled mole posters of the play, which one could take home for free. I found the staging very successful and quite suitable for 3-year-old, if you have read the book with the child before and it has understood the story. As it is always about the different forms of poo, there is constantly laughing. The stage and costumes are designed with love for details. The actresses Monika Sobetzko and Barbara Wegener embody their roles enchantingly. By the way, next to the theatre there is a playground with a large climbing frame and a cable car. Rather, something for the older kids, but my daughter was still happy to climb around after sitting for an hour.
All children’s plays of the TAS Neuss can also be booked for special occasions – my excursion and culture tip for all kindergartens and schools in the surrounded area. The little mole can still be seen until July 2018. Currently, tickets are available for two performances each in May / June / July. The dates before that are already sold out! Prebooked tickets cost 6,60 Euros for children and 8,80 Euros for adults. I think the prices are absolutely fair and I would have paid more. Whoever is free on the weekend of the 14th/15th of April, the play can be watched for free at the Neusser Kinder- and Familienmesse. In addition, there will probably be a preview of the two new children’s plays of the TAS: Bremen Town Musicians and Fug & Janina.