Thank you to the Riverfront for providing us with complimentary tickets to How To Defeat Monsters for the purpose of this review
How To Defeat Monsters (and get away with it) is a fun and original theatrical experience, taking place at Newport’s Riverfront Theatre this Easter holidays.
A co-production between the Riverfront and acclaimed children’s theatre company Flossy and Boo, it’s a 45 minute interactive and immersive journey, part performance, part hands-on exploration, as the audience seek to become expert monster seekers, understanding more about this curious species.
Taking place in the Riverfront’s basement studio, we are greeted by three enthusiastic monster experts, who need our help to find the creatures in this underground world of mischief and mayhem.
You can see a video Reel of our experience watching/participating in the show today on the Cardiff Mummy Says Instagram account.
As they introduce us to Chapter 36, the newly-formed Newport branch of the global monster seeking network, we get to measure ourselves against different sized monsters, play a few monster-related games (including dunking our hands in slime to see what the monsters have been eating and making potions).
We then head down a level to an entire floor of interactive experiences, where the audience is free to look around and participate as they choose.
The basement area looks incredible. It’s so well thought out with such attention to detail and very creative. There’s so much to do, things to pick up, things to listen to, a monster fancy dress box complete with a selfie photo frame, a tunnel in which you can search for monsters. You can pick up a checklist and hunt down the monsters, draw your own monster on a large chalk board, scoot through a tunnel filled with mini monsters and more.
The cast members interact and engage with the audience throughout, every so often calling us all together to let us know of a discovery or to ask for our help.
We attended one of the ‘performance sessions’, which includes the team of monster hunters guiding is through the experience. However, there are also ‘explore sessions’ where you can explore at your own pace. There are three of each kind of session each day during the run.
It’s great to see so much attention being paid to inclusivity, with all the publicity material clear that this is a ‘safe space’. For those who may find the sensory element a little overwhelming, there’s an ‘If it all gets a bit much tent’ where you can have a moment to yourself. You can also leave and return at any point during the sessions.
The venue is wheelchair accessible and much of the experience is suitable for those who are blind or visually impaired (Touch Tours are available) as well as being suitable for the Deaf community, with BSL-interpreted sessions available on Tuesdays and Thursdays and lots of visual, tactile and written elements.
Age guidance wise, it’s billed as being suitable for all ages from 1 to 100, and indeed it is, but it’s probably best suited for children aged 3 to 11. There’s not quite as much for older children as last year’s brilliant Alice In Wonderland, but it’s a great experience offering something completely different to the usual Easter offerings.
How To Defeat Monsters (and get away with it) is at Riverfront Newport until Saturday 15 April 2023.
Tickets for the performance sessions cost £8 for adults, £6 for children, and £6 per person for a group of three or more people (must include at least one child). Tickets for the explore sessions are £7 for adults, £5 for children or £5 per person in a group of three or more (must include at least one child). For more information, visit the website here.
For more ideas of family-friendly events in and around Cardiff over the Easter holidays, see this post: 80+ family-friendly events in and around Cardiff for the Easter holidays 2023
I regularly share ideas for days out as well as reviews and previews of forthcoming events on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page, as well as Cardiff Mummy Says Instagram and on Twitter @cardiffmummy Do follow me to be the first to know what’s going on locally.