We were excited to head off to an open-air theatre. It’s amazing what ingenious ideas have been born from Covid-19 restrictions. Luckily, Stiltskin’s Soapbox Children’s Theatre, at Devonport Park, Plymouth, has a grassy area where gazebos and tepees are set up for the audience to sit in distanced clusters.

The entertainment part is roped off in front of a quirky stage with colourful backdrop and props. ‘Troublesome Tikes’ production is a wonderful introduction to the theatre for little people and just the right length. One small boy was so engrossed in the characters’ antics that he was eager to go up and play alongside Terry and Tallulah Tike, played by Iain Slade, and Jacqueline Ball, who is also the writer.

As we lounged on a blanket snuggled in our tepee beforehand, I couldn’t help thinking what a lot of extra work these times entail in addition to the show. Tents up before, and down again at the end of each session. Guests welcomed and advised of safety. Café staff taking refreshment orders and delivering trayfuls to everyone’s tepees. The tangy carrot cake and rose lemonade tasted divine, by the way.

But hearing the audience’s laughter throughout, it was all worth it, and after cheers and clapping, the actors spoke to smiling children enthralled by the afternoon’s escapades with a hidden message.

After saying goodbye, we followed strands of bagpipe music blaring out further on in the park and soon found a group of bagpipers in the green and gold bandstand. Nearby, youngsters played in recreational spaces, one for toddlers, and another for older children which looked really adventurous.

There was just time for ice-cream from the stylish and reasonably priced Pavilion Park Café before finding our car parked on the road near the Soapbox Theatre. An inspirational venue with a varied programme that we are looking forward to returning to soon.