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REVIEW - GROOVING WITH PIRATES | Z-ARTS MANCHESTER | 13/04/2024


Grooving with pirates artwork


all about theatre 3 star review

Grooving With Pirates is a show that mixes animation, interactive theatre and music gig to create a unique theatre experience about three pirate friends that go on an adventure. The music featured in the show is a blending of electro jungle rhythm, infectious pop themes, and a heavy dose of 60s Blue Note soul jazz. The show has been produced by Groove Baby, Groove Baby was created in 2013 and its goal was to give parents the opportunity to experience concert hall quality music in a child friendly environment, their shows have now developed into unique musical theatre events that feature standout musicians from the UK jazz and contemporary circuit. The runtime of the show is approx. 65 minutes, and the show is Suitable for children ages 3–7 and their grown-ups. Grooving With Pirates is currently touring the UK and we were kindly invited to come and review the show at its stop at Z-arts in Manchester.


Grooving with Pirates Set

Grooving With Pirates animated story follows three pirate friends one-eyed Anne, Iron-heart Eddie and Chang with a hook for a hand, as they set off on a dangerous quest to find a magical treasure chest full of never-ending sweets. Along the way the friends encounter fighting pirates, mermaids and monsters, with the help of the audience who take on musical challenges such as clapping to the beat the pirate friends win a map to help them find the treasure chest. Upon finding the chest the friends discover that retrieving its contents wasn't going to be as easy as they thought. The friends have to decide what is more important the treasure chests contents or their friendship.


Grooving with Pirates, by Groove Baby. Photo by Front Page Photography

The set for the show consisted of a large projector screen which was used to show the animated parts of the show. There were some cardboard cut outs scattered around the stage one in the shape of a pirate ship, a couple in the shape of palm trees and several other which resembled shrubs. All the cut-outs were void of any colour which is a shame as I think a bit of colour would have help them stand out a bit more on the dark stage.


Grooving with Pirates, by Groove Baby. Photo by Front Page Photography

The show featured three musicians who were all dressed as Pirates, between them they played a variety of instruments, these included drums, guitars, keyboard and even a keytar. The musicians were great but only one of them interacted with the audience and acted as the host, he encouraged the children to dance and prompted the audience to join in with a bit of audience participation. One of our favourite bits of the show was when our pirate hast split the audience up in to three sections giving each section a sound that they must make when they are pointed at. He then picked a few children from the audience to come up on stage and create a piece of music by conducting the audience. the children love this, and it got a laugh from the parents. At the end of the show our Pirate host got everyone to join in with a bit of a singalong to a pirate sea shanty, this was lots of fun and the children loved it.

Grooving with Pirates, by Groove Baby. Photo by Front Page Photography

At the end of the show the children were invited to come and say hello to our Pirate host and have a chat and take a picture with him. He also had some stickers for sale which featured the pirates from that animation, these were priced at £3.50. Our children don't like crowds so didn't want to stay and meet the pirate, but I think this was a great end to the show for the other children. I do wish that they had offered the stickers for sale before the show as I would have purchased them for the children but as you could only purchase them at the end and my children don't like crowds and always want to leave straight away we weren't able to buy any.


Grooving with Pirates, by Groove Baby. Photo by Front Page Photography

Grooving With Pirates was a fun family day out and we had a great time but there were some points in the show that lagged a bit and some of the children got a bit board. I felt the show wasn't able to hold the children's attention for the whole 65 minutes, but we enjoyed the story I thought the animation was good and we loved all the audience participation and the music. If you love pirates, jazz music and don't mind a bit of audience participation then this show is for you.


If you would like more information about the show and find out where the show will be touring to click on the button below to go to Groove Baby's official website.




If you would like to find out more about Z-arts and the shows which will be coming to the venue, click on the button below for their official website.




Photo Credit - Front Page Photography


*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review







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