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New politics show for children this November!

15th November, 2019

FUNNY ha-ha but also funny serious – that’s the stand-up comedy treat in store for children and young people at Greenwich Theatre’s main house at 11am on Saturday 30th November, timed just under a fortnight before the General Election on December 12.

Called, fittingly, How Does This Politics Thing Work Then?, it comes at a time when democracy is definitely doddering but also when young people are becoming more aware that politics DOES affect them.

We caught up with creators Tiernan Douieb, from the Comedy Club 4 Kids, and Simple Politics website’s Tatton Spiller to talk all things politics.

“I met Tatton, who runs a brilliant website, and somehow manages to clearly explain parliament, British politics and even Brexit in a way that even primary school children can understand,” said Tiernan.

“It's a very necessary service, especially at the moment. We both realised that if we combine his clever explanations with my stupid jokes and ridiculous cat pictures we'd have a fun show that we could use to make kids laugh but also understand why their parents keep shouting at the telly.

“How will it work? Well, it's a silly, funny theatre show but with lots of audience interaction and we run a live general election on the stage. Basically, Tatton explains all and I ruin it with silly jokes!”

“We both think it’s so very important for kids and young people to engage in politics. The younger they realise that they can understand it, the less they’ll feel like it isn’t for them.

“That can lead to them being an active part in changing their own future for the better and making them feel less bewildered about how it all works. Being more informed about politics is can’t be a bad thing.”

Will there be any satire?

“Yes, definitely,” said Tiernan, “though, as it's a family show, there’s only a teeny bit, which is mostly for the grown-ups and really the whole show is non-partisan and just about how it all works. There’s more silly humour than intelligent wit.

“Young people are getting more tuned into politics because they have to be. The future keeps being decided for them by people who don’t have to worry about how they’ll live in it. So many issues right now, from Brexit to climate change, will affect them more than they’ll affect any adults, so they’re aware that they have to do the jobs grown-ups aren’t doing.

“It’s also partly down to how switched on the whole country - and a lot of the world - is to politics right now. Big decisions have been made, the basic two-party system is very turbulent and democracy as we have known it is very unstable. Children hear adults talking about it, see it on the television and are very aware of it all.”

The show has already been touring for a year and a half at schools, clubs and theatres, and, according to the feedback from one primary school, it was “brilliant, entertaining, informative, gripping and very entertaining”.

Tiernan has been more than pleased. “There’s been quite a few changes to the show between when we started and now, so a general election version of it isn’t too much of a stretch! But yes, I think it’s important that children know what adults might be voting for in the election on December 12 and that they have the confidence to tell them if they agree, disagree or want to know why.”

James Haddrell, Greenwich Theatre’s artistic and executive director, said

"We try to be as light on our feet as possible and like to respond to what’s happening in the news as it happens.

“We’ve worked before with various stand-up comedians who write material for children on issues like the environment and protecting the bees, and we are putting on a show before the election to explain to children how an election works, what it is, what it means and how important it is to vote – all in a fun way.”

How Does This Politics Thing Work Then? plays at Greenwich Theatre on Saturday 30th November. Book your tickets here