It doesn’t seem like 18 months since a chance remark between friends sparked the beginning of a successful business venture … but the Hey Diddles are currently now rehearsing for their second Christmas together – and the three friends are loving every minute!
Sally Norton, Lisa Kendall and Zoe Scott, had the “light-bulb moment” to form the Hey Diddles after Sally took her young boys to watch the Australian group The Wiggles in July 2012. The three mums, who all belong to the local amateur dramatic group, Turn Again Theatre, decided that there was a serious gap in the local market for pre-school entertainment and so created the Hey Diddles.
Lisa, who plays Sunny Diddle, explains “I regularly direct the Holmfirth Pantomime and I discovered that many parents didn’t feel able to bring little children to watch live theatre for fear of them chatting too loudly, wriggling about, needing the loo etc. This seemed so unfair on the very small children because, merely through age, they were missing out on the fantastic experience that is “live theatre”.
The three singing and dancing mums felt that they had what it took to do something about this and created the Hey Diddles, a show aimed specifically at pre-school and early years children. The show they’ve created is hugely interactive and high energy with children being encouraged to get out of their seats, to join in with the actions, shout out answers, sing along and dance.
Sally (Poppy Diddle) adds "Now the mums can bring even the youngest child, safe in the knowledge that they'll not only be amongst a like-minded audience, but also that the entertainment on the stage is specifically aimed at them."
Zoe (Skye Diddle) says "We also decided to include an educational message into our show too –and have simple counting songs, rhymes about colours etc. We have even include simple messages about saying please and thank you, being sorry and about making friends!"
Previous Hey Diddles shows proved so popular that one of the Holmfirth Show sold out in just six days, with the Holmfirth Tourist Information describing tickets as “like gold dust”. This year promises to see more sell-outs, because ticket sales for their new Christmas Shows are already going extremely well.