Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Art of Living - Pirates, Princess Playgrounds & a Puppet Barge

Pirates! In an adventure with scientists

Aha me maties! I have ye a great story to tell. Taken from the first book in the Pirates! series by Gideon Defoe this animation brought to us by the same genius that gave us Chicken Run and Walllace & Gromit is a plank-walking funny adventure on the high seas. With his rag-tag crew at his side the Captain (Hugh Grant) has but one dream; to win the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. He must beat his rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry ) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) in his quest which see's our hapless heroes travel from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy cobbled streets of Victoria London. 
Hugh Grant plays perfectly to the under-qualified and yet unaware bumbling Pirate Captain with his self deprecating voice of self-doubt, the script is brilliantly funny and the detail astounding. A production apparently five years in the making is a great cinematic adventure for the family.
Will the pirate hating Queen Victoria and her swashbuckling skills be able to stop the Captain, will the young love-lorn Charles Darwin with his man-panzee be able put aside his feelings and his own personal agenda?

Check your local cinema for timings and 
look out for special early morning family ticket offers with Odeon cinema - children's tickets are £1 and the parents are free! 

The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse

The 55 seat theatre that is the Puppet Theatre Barge is one of London's most charming and atmospheric venues albeit a little known secret.
Located in little Venice it is a beautiful place to take a day out.

Now performing one of the best loved classics from Aesops Fables with tale of The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse.
This weekend is the perfect time to visit too with the 2012 Canalway cavalcade (see below) there's even more to see.

Finding Neverland at the Princess Diana Memorial playground

If you're looking for a more adventurous playground than the run of the mill swings, slides and roundabouts  then adventure along to Princess Diana's playground in Kensington Gardens.
With a pirate ship to set sail across the stormy seas and a Tepee settlement you might even stumble across Captain Hook and Peter Pan!
The Neverland on the pages may be second star to the right and straight on til morning but this one is just off Bayswater Road and you take the no 49 bus!
The park is closed for maintenance - gotta keep it ship shape - from 14th to 18th of May

image by Luke Hayes

Christian Louboutin - A Retrospective 

If you you're looking to take an educational and inspiring trip to the Design Museum this weekend you're in for treat. You can swoon your way to the Christian Louboutin's lust hungry red soled retrospective exhibition. When it comes to sparkly, feathered, sequinned, fantasy and fairytale footwear from studded pumps to glossy stilettos the french footwear designer Christian Louboutin brings the theatricality and beauty of it all.
With work inspired by his love and fascintaion with cabaret and showgirls there is certainly a air of this in the Hologram room, which you may wan to skip past if you're with children!
The exhibition takes a look at his 20 years of design and inspiration and you'll be 'taken on a magical journey of style, glamour, power feminity and elegance' exploring the sources of inspiration and the origin of his iconic red sole.

So, whilst the husband takes the children to the design and make workshop you can wonder around and fall in love with one of the most if not the most lusted after shoes of our time. Though this exhibition comes with a personal caution: perhaps not to wear your vertiginously high heels, skip past the hologram room if with your children, and be careful this may have you wanting your very own collection of Louboutin's.

1st May - 9th July

Free Event

If its been on your mind to take the kids to Little Venice to see the beautiful floating house canal boats then this is the perfect time to do it. There'll be bands, boat trips, stalls, children's games and refreshments 'for all the landlubbers to enjoy' as this historic event see's the boats stopping off on their way to Queens Jubilee Pageant on the Thames in June.
This is a true English affair with more 130 boats moored along this stretch of the canal and when the sun goes down the atmosphere becomes even more magical with the illuminated boats decked out to the nines for the after-dark pageant. 

5th -7th  May

The Snail and the Whale

Tall Stories presents the latest in their collaborations with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler in the production of the wonderful childrens story The Snail and the Whale.

For everyone aged 4 yrs and upwards
Sunday 6th May
Showing at Jacksons Lane

If on your weekend you like nothing more than getting your craft on visit our 
for a little inspiration.

Or get inspired with the paints and challenge the children to make their own Olympic posters:
Take a coffee cup and some black, blue, yellow, red and green paint and, of course, a large sheet of paper. 

Use the rim of the coffee cup to paint 5 different coloured circles then use your imagination as best you can to base your design upon the Olympic ring shapes.
Maybe the circles can become flowers, eyes of aliens, planets, watches, famous places of interest or landmarks. You can hold an award ceremony with prizes going to the most original piece.
For more great Olympic crafts Visit:

This is part of 'The Art of Living' collection. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' and our weekly 'Wedesday Woo'.
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