I was thinking it might be fun to catch up with the cast of Bosco & Jones, and it turns out Matt Bois, who was beloved by audiences for playing the affable puppet Jones, as well as earning a nod for Outstanding Performance from NOW Magazine, is here in town. He’s currently on stage in “The Big League”, a children’s show set in a hockey arena and played out entirely on roller blades.
I asked Matt if there were any key differences between playing for kids and playing for adults.
“I think kids are a great, honest audience, so I think if they don’t really believe something, they’ll call you on it. You’re going to get shuffling in the seats. As an actor, I think it requires an immense amount of energy and commitment to keep them activated and focused on what we’re doing you have to be really tuned in to what the audience is giving you.”
“I’d like to think no,” says Matt. “But with this generation, who were born in front of the internet, I think it’s that much more important for them to come out and see as much live theatre as they can; so that they can grow up being in an environment where everything’s tangible.”
And, I add, it’s a shared communal experience instead of being isolated behind a machine.
Matt heartily agrees. “It builds a special energy because it’s a shared experience.”
The experience of “The Big League” includes body checking, board slams, and a few too many fart jokes, as well as deeper seeded themes like over-active hockey parents, and the importance of having open, honest lines of communication. That’s something kids don’t get from a video game.
The day I saw the show, the house was full of school groups. As the lights came up and the kids grabbed their jackets to go back to school, the 10 year old girl who’d been sitting in front of me turned to her friends and said “That was the best ever.” They walked out of the theatre excitedly going over their favourite parts.
Sort of speaks for itself, doesn’t it.
If you know of any great shared communal experiences (aka kids theatres, festivals or shows) let us know. Because over here, before the cocktails, we always want a good curtain call!