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To judge a show... be a baby!

For my job (yes, I know, it’s the best job in the world) I have to go see a lot of shows. It’s not always easy to judge a show on its potential to draw and please an audience but last night, while seeing LOFT by Les 7 doigts de la main I got a pretty good idea of how to judge shows...

The first thing that makes LOFT stand out from lots of other shows is that the fun begins before the show starts. I won’t tell you what it is, because that would spoil the fun for those of you that will go see the show in the future. It’s just good that a smile is on your face before the show even starts.

And then... A father with a (probably not even) two year old baby was seated next to me. There goes a perfectly good theatre experience, I thought. But I was soon to discover that this 2 year old was the perfect little human being to judge the show.

To me, personally, when I feel goosebumps during a show, this is usually a good sign (unless the air conditioning system is the cause). Have you ever experienced this while watching a show? It’s a great emotion. Or so I think. But I’m never quite sure if this feeling is shared by the rest of the audience. I can hardly stand up and ask, can I?

During Loft this experience was replaced by something else. The baby commented on parts of the show, which was quite funny at times. The little boy uttered short phrases like: “Look, a lamp!” and “She fell.” But... then it happened.

There are at least two pieces in the show that are very impressive and not just funny. And the moment I thought “Wow” the baby started applauding very enthousiastically with its little hands. Yes, I thought, this is what it’s about. When you judge a show, be like a baby and express your enthousiasm if it is in its place.

And my idea was confirmed when the little boy did it again during my absolutely favourite act in the show, where Les 7 doigts de la main turn a simple “main-à-main” into an amazing 7 person main-à-main choreography that blows you away.

Next week I’m seeing another show by the same company in London and I was told that Traces is much better than Loft. Hmm... Can’t wait!
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