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Maybe I'm a big kid, but the chatter and laughing was music to my ears

I never got to see a pantomime when I was young. I know - boo bleedin' hoo!

Yes, I went to Christmas concerts and plays but never once did I get to see one of the big productions in the Olympia or the Gaiety.

And so it was an eye opener for me to dip my toes into the world of children's entertainment and go to Shrek the Musical last weekend with my nieces and nephews.

As we made our way into the beautiful Bord Gais Theatre, I was struck by the palpable excitement in the air.

Lots of kids running around the place, chomping into their popcorn and Maltesers. It was a collection of tiny people dying with excitement.

We made our way into the auditorium and again I noticed the sound level. Chattering, laughing, clapping and giggling.


When the curtain went up I expected a sense of stillness to fall on the audience. How the hell was that going to happen - the average age was seven, the average height four foot.

The chatter only became louder, and the real squealing began. It was hilarious. And refreshing.

One thing I hate about adult theatre is that deadly silence once the play begins. I always panic, think I am going to get a coughing fit, and begin to scramble through my bag looking for water.

And then I panic that the actor is going to forget their lines. The overwhelming silence just makes it all unbearable.

It has become a sort of phobia for me. I'm slightly allergic to the stilted, claustrophobic feeling of sitting in a theatre.

Whereas in Shrek, the chatter, laughter and gentle noises made for a thoroughly relaxed and enjoyable experience.

If only all theatre experiences were like this. If I could chat and giggle my way through any production, I'd be there more often.