If you enjoyed the play Sleep No More, the immersion theatre that allowed you to wander through 5 floors of detailed scenes and follow a story line, there’s now an immersion show for kids! We recently brought our 5 year old daughter to see Pip’s Island, it’s the most enjoyable theatre experience we’ve had with her so far. Pip’s Island is a unique and experiential play that brings you and your kids through a dozen incredibly imaginative and spectacular rooms – they make pinterest boring. Upon entering the show the kids prepare for the expedition by donning explorer vests – each one has a badge, and at different points during the expedition icons are lit up as kids unlock ‘Sparks.’ It all begins when you enter through a magical tree portal and are transferred to a mystical island where the adventure comes to life.
Kids are the leaders here and are quickly identified as the explorers – adults are along for the journey but only allowed to help as the assistants. Adults are encouraged to lag behind in hopes their kids gain confidence to join the pack. The expedition is led by a cast of 3 main characters: Pip, Finn and Pebble. Throughout the journey they lead you from one spectacular room to the next, each one more magical than the other. Along the way there are several other interesting characters to meet.
This theatre experience is highly stimulating however we never felt overwhelmed. The show curators carefully crafted the rooms and the maximum audience size is 50 people. This allows for an intimate group and we each had direct interaction with the actors as well as other kids. After holding our daughter’s hand through the first couple of rooms she relaxed and started to really immerse herself into the experience. Eventually she was empowered enough to head to the front of the pack. My boyfriend and I watched from the back of each room as the kids figured out how to work together to get ‘sparks’ and light up their badges. There were more sparks that the ones lighting up on the kid’s badges, my boyfriend and I were beaming with pride as we watched our little girl, so confident and brave, interact in this show.
The whole experience is about 60 minutes. There are a couple opportunities for adults to sit for short breaks, but the kids are moving around exploring for the entire show. The story line includes a villain and moments of tension. This play is designed for children ages 4-10 and I saw only one child who struggled in the beginning. He shed a couple tears but his mom stayed by his side until he got comfortable, eventually joining the rest of the kids with a smile on his face. Children are supported and quickly moved through anything they may experience as frightening.
My daughter has asked several times when we can go again. We have a lot of plans over the next couple of months but if her enthusiasm for this show continues, we may go see it again. It’s a one of a kind experience – one in which children are not just watching the show, they play a vital role in the story. I don’t know when she’ll have that chance again, I’m so glad we did this!
- Coat and bag check are available, you’ll want to take advantage of this so you can really move around.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- There is a nice cafe and cute gift shop.