Snorting belly laughs guaranteed (& that's just the parents)
Always on the look-out for something different to do with the kids, I stumbled upon Funny Looking Kids, which are comedy sessions designed specifically with children in mind. With an 11, 9 and 5 year old, it can be hard to find something that suits them all, so this seemed like just the thing to keep the whole family entertained. Although they run monthly events at Bluecoat in Liverpool, these were a little too far to travel to, so I was thrilled when I heard that Funny Looking Kids had branched out and scheduled some dates at the stunning location of Salford's Ordsall Hall.
Although recommended for ages 7 and up, I was pretty confident my 5 year old would be fine as she often gets dragged along to a lot of older events; the youngest child has to be amenable after all. So we booked our tickets for the bargain price of £5 each (less than a cinema ticket) and looked forward to it in anticipation.
Funny Looking Kids is a comedy club that's aimed at....yes you guessed it right....kids. The concept was launched by father of two Gav Cross, who must have been funny enough for his kids to persuade him to give it a go. And I bet he's glad he did, as he looks like he's having a whole lot of fun.
The rules of Funny Looking Kids are quite simple; No Swears, No Peanuts, No Uniform and Bring Jokes. Don't be fooled by the title either, these sessions aren't just for the kids. I promise that the grown ups will also find themselves in stitches at the antics on stage.
As we have never been to anything like this, the kids literally had no idea what to expect from a comedy club. Although I tried my hardest to explain the concept, it's a difficult one to describe. Certainly, there seems to be less comedy sketches on television than there used to be (dare I say in my day?) It didn't help that my five year old thought that they were 'chameleons' rather than 'comedians.' Goodness knows what she was expecting. My son, oblivious to the rules of comedy (never sit on the front row unless you want to get picked on), sat on the front row to my delight. I wasn't feeling quite as confident and hid a couple of rows back with the rest of the family.
There were three comedians who each took turns in taking on different characters throughout the show. It lasted around an hour, making it a perfect bite-sized introduction to comedy for kids. Once it began, there wasn't a chance to take a breath, as the audience was introduced to a variety of hilarious characters. From loud and intrusive tourists who attempted to get the kids to take photos of them in the stunning surroundings of Ordsall Hall, to a life guard warning children of the dangers of diving in shallow water and the importance of wearing goggles, the comedy was fast-paced and jam-packed with giggles. I'd be pushed to pick my favourite sketch but one of them was definitely when the whole audience joined in with lessons in air guitar playing (yes, you get to join in too mums and dads).
There were also stories and games to get involved in, including Funny Looking Kids version of the Price is Right and the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk (from the perspective of the giant). Who knew Jack was such a baddy?
The session ended with a chance for the kids to get up and have their go at taking centre stage. Here was their opportunity to come up with the best jokes. Although my kids were desperate to get up, they must have felt the pressure and could not think of a single gag. Other kids there had obviously been before and were standing ready with their best one-liners. So if you're thinking of popping along, make sure you get practicing those jokes in advance -we will certainly be more prepared next time! Funny Looking Kids currently has one more date planned at Ordsall Hall on Sunday 16th June 2019 (could this be the perfect Father's Day Treat?) They also have monthly events at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, with the next one being on the 15th June 2019.
Oh, and if you do pop along to see Funny Looking Kids at Ordsall Hall, make sure you get there early to give the kids the chance to see the hall itself. To find out more about what you can see at Ordsall Hall, see here.