Flying the Nest at Arnot Hill Park Review

On Saturday the 21st of July I watched a performance of Flying the Nest at Arnot Hill Park, Arnold in Nottingham. The park itself is the perfect setting for this show in particular when you consider that the show is all about birds. Where else would be better to experience a show about the creatures of the sky than in the great outdoors? Especially with the weather we’ve been having as of late.

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The show was scheduled to begin at 3:00pm, but the crowd began to draw at around 2:40pm. This didn’t by any means startle the Handmade team, who leapt into action greeting the audience and making them feel welcomed from the get go. This was to be the second performance of the day, with the team already having done it once before at a 1 o’clock showing. As 3 o’clock neared, the team ensured that everyone was comfortable and ready before disappearing behind the big bird house. Seconds later they reappeared in their first characters… And the show began!

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From the offset the team were engaging and interacting with the audience, using the space around the set to weave in and out of each nest of children in a way that enveloped them in the performance. The show centres itself around two themes, birds and birders. Throughout the show each actor interchanged between a birder and a bird. The multiple roles played by each actor were differentiated with costume and accent changes to ensure that the audience, which ranged from several months old to mid-70s, could keep track of who was who.

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Accompanying the performance were jokes, songs and live music, dancing, costume and character changes, and a LOT of audience interaction. At times it felt a bit crazy, when all the audience were up and following along with the dances to the quirky songs, but to see the enjoyment of the children and the passion of the actors was a real treat!

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As the show drew to a close, many of the audience stuck around for a short while, wanting to talk to the actors who were more than happy to oblige. As this was happening I was able to speak to a few of the audience members about their thoughts on the show. The answers were resoundingly positive! I received responses from some of the younger audience members such as…

“Very funny!”


As well as gestures of thumbs up! And when talking to parents, they said that they would visit other performances similar to this.

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With that in mind, I cannot recommend this show enough to those with young children! The energy of the show is outright contagious, the story is captivating and easy to follow and not to mention extremely informative! I left not only entertained by the performance, but knowing just that bit more about birds, too! Not only that, but seeing how passionate the actors were, and knowing that the whole set was HandMade tops the whole performance!

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If you want to see this performance for yourself there are a few tour dates left for this summer. Alternatively, if birds aren’t your cup of tea why not see a performance of Too Many Cooks instead? If you’re a foodie you’re sure to love this show!

Too Many Cooks has been commissioned by Applause rural touring and is supported by Arts Council England Grants for The Arts.