We love Julia Donaldson books… like.. loads! From The Gruffalo to Zog we have most of the fab books she has written and they are read most evenings before bed. I think I could read Tiddler from heart now!
Anyway Scamp Theatre have put together an awesome performance of four of the books – Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, A Squash and a Squeeze and The Smartest Giant in Town. We bought tickets to see it at Mansfield Palace Theatre. The kids were very excited!
The stage is simply designed with two tall step ladders, lots of boxes and a backdrop of blue. The show opens with a cast of three. They introduce the idea of Tiddler with them dressed as fishermen but then launch into Monkey Puzzle.
The music and singing is really powerful and all the children in the theatre are enthralled by the performance. Noah immediately recognised the monkey and was watching animated at the different animals the butterfly thinks is his mum. He made me smile how at 2 years old he has no concept of being quiet in the theatre and was loudly asking questions about the show. Luckily our seats were right on the back row so he didn’t really bother anyone!
The show lasts around 50 minutes and there is no interval. They actually cleverly use the story of Monkey Puzzle to keep the children’s interest throughout the show by starting on this then breaking off to do another story, revisiting and breaking off again. As Noah was quite taken with the monkey this worked well to keep his attention. My personal favourite was A Squash and a Squeeze. The wise old man is great in this story! Gary’s was Tiddler as he thought it was particuarly inventive withh sound and lighting especially when he goes into the darker, unknown waters. The books are followed quite closely, which is good if your child is a stickler for the words being the same! Ethan actually surprised me a little as he noticed some parts were missing. He obviously is listening then! I explained they had to do four books in less than an hour so wouldn’t be able to do it all!
The cast are touring the country at the moment and if you manage to get tickets to see the performance and you are a fan of Julia Donalson’s books then you won’t regret it.