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Story Pocket Theatre - King Arthur

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BROADWAY BABY ***** by Millie Bayswater on 10th August 2016

If you have kids, take them to this show. If you don't have kids, steal some and take them to this show. Patrick Monahan and his assistants Emily and Will set a new standard for kids' entertainment while still giving the adults in the audience a cheeky wink and nod in their Pub Quiz for Kids.

This show is a winner all round. You haven't even entered the venue when you start being affected by this trios' infectious energy. Emily bounds out with pigtails and a beam the size of the Royal Mile and starts getting the kids pumped up for the show and sorting us into teams. Once we're sat down, Patrick begins with a little improv-patter. The kids love his animation and you can see them getting more excited by the second. His jokes are funny, a little naughty - but that seems to go over the kids' heads, and all the adults are cackling within 30 seconds.

The format of the show is fairly traditional. It has the feel of a CBBC gameshow with rounds including General Story Knowledge, Guess the Theme Tune and a Dance Off. The mix of categories meant there was something for everyone - even a few questions directed mostly at the grown-ups - and it's easy enough that children of all sorts of ages could play with it still being a fun challenge. The Dance Off seemed thoroughly enjoyed by all. The whole affair is lightning fast and Patrick manages to compère it effortlessly, keeping the pace up and the jokes rolling. His ability to ad-lib while interacting with his audience is seriously impressive, punning and teasing his way into everyone's hearts. The team made up entirely of grown-ups bar one small child was mercilessly roasted.

Patrick, Emily and Will get everything right. The setup - with Patrick in charge, Emily as good cop and Will as bad cop - created the perfect platform for them to bounce-off one another. It's competitive, but it's friendly. Points are liberally handed out for right answers but also for amusing answers or a particularly witty comment. In the end, the teams are all really close in score so you're not sending anyone home too distraught. I'm not super caught-up with kids' entertainment these days, so I was lost on a lot of the questions, but everyone else seems to know the answers so it's clearly pitched excellently well. It's current, funny and deliriously energetic.

This show is a winner all round. I've been to stand-up gigs and laughed considerably less. Despite this being billed as a kids' show and thoroughly appealing to its target demographic, I'm not entirely unconvinced that my twenty-something friends wouldn't enjoy it as well. So, take your kids, take your mates, take your granny and make an appointment with Patrick and his team. 

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ARTS AWARD VOICE ***** by Bhavesh Jadva

This is where parents' expert knowledge in all things to do with children comes in handy. A pub quiz without alcohol and not in a pub but with the energy and enthusiasm that comes with toddlers. Families and 22-year old individuals alike are put into teams of around two families' size. Monaghan is the quizmaster and is accompanied by Story Pocket Theatre adjudicators.

Simply put, I'd have adored it as a child and have laughed from start to finish and wanted to be on the front row. Now, as a big child, smack bang at the age of knowing too little for the children's questions and knowing too little for the parents' questions, I basked in an atmosphere of unending happiness. Not to mention a ferocious electric energy.

A charismatic host, an excellent array of questions, well considered juvenile jokes, and a Dad Dance Off. As you can imagine, the children's passions ran high, there was some disappointment, but no one won anything in the end so they didn't actually care.

I am 22 years old.

Perhaps the best kids show at the Fringe is a show for kids and about kids.

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Patrick Monahan is a force of nature when it comes to making people laugh - you can't help but be swept up in his high energy excitement and charm. Not surprisingly, his Pub Quiz was chaotic, crazy, and really good fun.

Ably assisted by Emily and Will from Story Pocket Theatre, Pat arranged teams, team names, and found groups to join for smaller parties.

Then the rounds started : Round One: Story Knowledge, where children got to show off their knowledge of family classics. Round Two was Theme Tunes, with the briefest of hints provoking much debate with the teams - some of whom took it more seriously than others.

Who's Who saw an audience member doing a seagull impression, and the Dance Off got even the more shy children on the stage, on their feet and dancing away.

Finally, a quick fire round decided the winning team, before everyone had to dance their way out of the room - sad it was all over too soon.

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