After being the event photographer at The Bookchat Roadshow for The Book Activist recently, her husband Marcus was keen to book me to photograph a couple of dates of his fantastic interactive storytelling shows – Mr Dilly’s World of Wonder – at the Brighton Marina.
Mr Dilly was performing at the Brighton Marina every Wednesday throughout August and asked me to come for two consecutive Wednesdays to capture six different stories to add a wide spread of photos covering most of his repertoire. We also took some time at the end to make the most of the props and a smoke machine for some creative portraits which were great fun! I’ll do a short post about them tomorrow. I must say, I’ve not had so much fun on a shoot for a long time and all the children and their parents who gathered to hear Mr Dilly’s high-energy and hilarious storytelling had a whale of a time!
It was tough not to get caught up in his storytelling and Mr Dilly’s ability to draw laughter from the adults as well as the children resulted in many a case of camera-shake. Of course the children couldn’t wait to be called up on stage to be a part of the tales. To swashbuckle as a pirate, growl at Goldilocks or slay a dragon for England but when Mr Dilly ventured into the audience to cast an adult into the story, most grown-up eyes fought to catch anything other than Mr Dilly’s gaze.
There were however some good sports who obliged and after being adorned in outrageous costumes and fighting the initial stage fright, they became completely immersed. For this is Mr Dilly’s special bonus skill. The art of bringing out one’s inner child. For forty-five minutes, a dad in a giant, furry Balou onesie forgot about being embarrassed and skipped, crawled, sang, roared and generally acted the fool. And he loved it.
And so there it is. Mums and Dads might be forgiven for preparing to sit through another summer holiday afternoon of mediocre children’s entertainment, but that was not to be. Parents and children alike were transported from inside Mr Dilly’s circus tent to another world. A world full of laughter and lore, of history and hilarity, of stories and smiles. A World of Wonder.
As Mr Dilly puts it, “Get The Happy!”.