JAZZAMATAZZ – London Wonderground, London
If you have a little one bursting with enviable never-ending energy and you’re struggling to keep them occupied this summer, then head over to Jazzamatazz and join Ali McGregor’s infectious family cabaret where kids have the freedom to jump and run to their heart’s content.
Set in the picturesque Spiegeltent at London Wonderground, Ali, dressed up to the nines (even heels!) and her three talented musicians provide 45 minutes of vibrant, varied and interactive musical numbers – each containing familiarity for children and nostalgia for adults. My heart initially sinks when I see the set up on-stage and the audience below, as this kind of divide makes any interaction near impossible, however thankfully Ali is regularly off the stage rallying up the children to speak in the microphone, dance and play together. She encompasses that brilliant ability to engage with children, improvising when – inevitably – things don’t go to plan and still managing to fit in little unrehearsed comical quips for the grown-ups. Unfortunately the lighting does not aid these moments, as Ali is mostly in darkness when she joins the audience.
The song list (including the alphabet song and Who Let the Dogs Out) has been well thought out. It provides inclusion for a broad range of age groups and perhaps more importantly, opens up a range of potential interactions – some of which, you would be forgiven for thinking, are bound to end in disaster. Somehow they make it work; one example is a song containing a missing basket where hilarious madness ensues as the children inadvertently work together to keep it away from a chasing Ali. Meanwhile parents are able to sit back and watch the fun or join in with every song and dance, as the relaxed atmosphere dissolves any initial feelings of intimidation.
It’s unfortunate that due to some confusion with the end of school term dates a lot of children will not be able to attend during the week, however it is great entertainment for absolutely every age group and a lovely afternoon treat for the family so hop, skip and slide along while you can!
– – – – – – – – – –
By Natalie Green
11th – 19th July 2015
London Wonderground, Southbank, SE1 8XX.