Monski Mouse - Baby Disco Dance Hall

Monski Mouse: Baby Disco Dance Hall

Monski Mouse - Baby Disco Dance HallThere aren’t many events for you in Brighton Fringe if your child is under three. I know, I looked, hoping to share bit of the cultural feast taking over the city with my one-year-old son. There are however two ‘baby discos’ – different venues, different price points, different musical aesthetic (one assumes). The retro styling and classy Speigeltent venue of Monski’s Mouse’s event, the shorter of the two sessions, drew our eye and so, disco pants on, we took to the floor.

The venue at Speigeltent is an immediate win; its mirrored walls, enticing booths, and bouncy wooden floor make it a magical playground for little ones. It’s also big enough for running around but small enough to create a real crowd on the dance floor. Australian DJ Monski Mouse (Monica Corduff-Gonzalez) has dressed the space minimally but well. Bright monochrome stripes cover the DJ desk that she dances around in her trademark Disney-styled ears, and there’s a baby chill-out area of stuffed animal cushions and rugs that my small person found very reassuring.

Her set is supported by two 50s-styled dancers who mingle and help raise the atmosphere in the crowd. Their muteness is occasionally a bit disconcerting – Monski is firmly the host – but they are a smiley and enthusiastic presence that helps to break down parental inhibitions. Beyond the styling of the dancers the retro theme is not much in evidence – the set is a mixture of disco classics both recent (Pharrell Williams’s Happy) and less contemporary (the B52s’ Loveshack) – but this didn’t seem to matter to the swelling crowd of cheerful parents and carers who threw themselves into the spirit of the event with gusto for a wild and wet Saturday morning. That crawling on the floor being a ‘lovecat’ or a sleeping bunny came so readily (to the adults!) is a testament to the skill with which the tone is set and the event managed by the team.

The mix of tracks to appeal to kids (actions!) and grownups (memories!) was well handled and, even though it was a bit strange hearing every song played to the very end there’s no denying that the mix was good and the hour the right length. In all, we felt well looked after and Monski’s background in early years work shone through. This was a highly successful and enjoyable hour spent sharing some of the energy and fun of going clubbing with the main reason you haven’t been able to do it for the past three years.

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About Beccy Smith

Beccy Smith is a freelance dramaturg who specialises in developing visual performance and theatre for young people, including through her own company TouchedTheatre. She is passionate about developing quality writing on and for new performance. Beccy has worked for Total Theatre Magazine as a writer, critic and editor for the past five years. She is always keen to hear from new writers interested in developing their writing on contemporary theatre forms.