Some other theatres would do well to learn from the way the Sherman presented ‘Corina Pavlova and the Lion’s Roar’ for children and their families. From the welcome at the door and elves face-painting, with directions to the auditorium such as ‘follow the stockings’, to the three actors saying goodbye to everyone on the way out and easy feedback forms for children -the attention to detail was exemplary. Most impressive was the arrangement where children could choose small chairs, or lie on mats and engage fully with the action (and indeed they did, with the actors joyfully embracing the stage-storming of one child totally caught up in the performance).

Simple staging, lighting and bunting evoked a ‘Wow – it’s like the circus’ from my two grandchildren on entering; then came an explosion of colour, the animals portrayed through costume and puppetry, catchy songs and three talented actors who slipped seamlessly into playing various instruments. To hold the attention of some sixty children from the age of two and entertain the adults, too, was no mean feat. According to five-year old Isaac, the puppets and songs were funny and the show was silly (in a good way!), but the best part was the lion’s roaring; and seven-year old Anderson (who was older than the intended demographic, but it still kept him engrossed) said the show made him feel happy.

I live in Somerset and this was my first visit to the Sherman, but hopefully it won’t be the last. This was children’s theatre at its best: bold, inspiring, engaging and vibrant, and where the young audience was clearly not just tolerated, but valued.