Themed Children’s Parties.
Everyone loves a themed children’s party. The children at the parties get to immerse themselves in the world of their favourite characters and be their heroes for one day. They may be a Stormtrooper, a Princess, a Pirate or Harry Potter, complete with light-sabers, tiaras, swords or magic wands. One party I did in a hall in Poole was decked out like Narnia, with white sheeting everywhere, icicles, a Pin the Tail on the Lion game and even a working lamp-post. Recently Star Wars has featured heavily in theming because of its popularity with girls and boys especially seeing as it has a strong female lead in the movie
From a parent’s perspective, it can be very rewarding, but extremely hard work. I have been to events where parents (and the extended family) have got to the venue 2 hours before to decorate and that’s not including the several hours of preparation sourcing out decorations, props and effects beforehand. As with anything though, the results of the hard work can be really impressive.
Sometimes, a few posters here and there, and little details like a themed cake is all it takes and the children are really happy with that. The cakes I have seen are wonders to behold
So what about the entertainment? Do you go for one of these companies where a character comes to the party dressed up? Well let’s leave to one side the fact that Nickelodeon and Disney have been clamping down on un-licensed mascots because of copyright infringement; you need to look at one very important factor. After the first few minutes of excitement, gasps and wows, will they then be entertaining for everyone at the party? As with all entertainment, some of these companies may be very good, some may not, so it’s important to have good recommendations or to have seen them yourself, otherwise you may end up with something that looks great but has no substance. It’s very easy to go out and buy the costumes for yourselves, so that’s always an option?
People ask me now and again if I theme parties for children and although this is something that I have considered, there are usually a couple of issues that need o be considered. The main one is this, if I dressed up as a character from your child’s favourite show or movie and did my normal show, then that’s not really theming it. Having an entertainer dress up as a pirate, or even a clown and doing magic tricks like where a colouring book has colours magically added to pictures is not themed, but from an entertainers perspective there is a huge hurdle to overcome. To properly theme a show means writing a new one, buying several new props to fit in with the theme (often costing hundreds of pounds) and then rehearsing the show until it’s good enough to perform. If you add to that the fact that this show won’t be needed very often, maybe a handful of times a year, you will see why entertainers who do have proper themed packages may only have one or two different ones
What I can do for parents who ask me if I theme a show is still important though and it’s something that I love doing, especially with themes that I am fan of anyway, like Star Wars, Super Heroes and Harry Potter (Yes, I’m a big kid, lol). I let people know that although I don’t have a themed act, I reference the theme in several ways. I will upload any relevant music and sound effects to my Ipad, I will pepper references to the show of movies into my act. Anyone who has seen me will know that I am an improviser so a joke or comment here and there is always noticed by the children. If I do a full party package I often come up with games specifically around a theme, or even adapt a common game around it. For example, why play musical statues in a Harry Potter Theme when you can use the ‘Immobulus Charm’? Children could even be ‘Frozen’ by Queen Elsa! If you use your imagination and enthusiasm then the children will love it.
With so many references, it is almost like theming, so you may ask why I don’t just say “Yes, of course, I can do that theme”? Well the answer there is that because the show isn’t themed properly, I feel like I’d be cheating. Anyone who goes out to spend what can be hundreds, or even thousands of pounds theming a show properly would justifiably feel aggrieved if I said that my show was, and I have set too high a professional standard to be immoral in what I do. So if you don’t mind that your chosen entertainer only pays lip service to your particular theme then go for it, but from my perspective, I won’t say that I’ll do a theme, but I will put enough effort in to what I do to enhance the party and make it ‘theme-like’ 🙂