Who’s scared of bears? Certainly not the kids sitting next to me at this stage adaptation of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s children’s classic. They were practically jumping in the stalls in anticipation of the furry beast.
The picture book is clearly still a favourite 24 years after it was published – most of my fellow audience members knew all the rhythmical, onomatopoeic lines from beginning to end. And director Sally Cookson brings the beguiling magic alive in this production, which arrives in the West End after an international tour.
It combines some charming, often makeshift production values with the occasional more sophisticated stage surprise. The swishy swashy grass, the river and the mud are all created onstage by the four performers from strips of green paper, blue towels and buckets and brown paint, which gets everywhere.
There’s a lot of slightly anarchic audience interaction and participation, including helping to work out what a bear looks like, singing along and getting rather wet in a water fight.
The show is aimed at kids over three and primary school children but those in the later primary years might find it a little boring – not an awful lot happens, after all.
Still though, the relaxed performers are wonderfully entertaining, making this a great hour of song, dance and fun. Ages 3+.
By Daisy Bowie-Sell
Average User Rating
2 / 5
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This is just a wonderful show! The way it is done (songs, props, etc.) is just perfect to demonstrate to kids how to use their creativity and imaginations! So glad I took my granddaughter to this, she loved it! So did I!
Just wanted to say how much we (family of three) enjoyed the show today. My 4 year old daughter thoroughly loved the performance which was full of humour, action and talent. Whilst I appreciate the stage work is a little limited, the way the story is presented allows for plenty of imagination ( surely this is what we want our children to embrace) and shows what can be done without fancy props and special effects. The running time of the show is clearly shown when booking tickets and at 55 mins seems sensible for its target audience of 3 - 6 year olds. All in a lovely day when combined with a family picnic on St James Park.
We took our daughters, almost 5 years old, to watch this last weekend and we were disappointed!! We travelled from Essex into London for a lovely day out but the show was over before we knew it (an hour). We'd read the book several times and even know the words so you can imagine how excited we were BUT the performance and the stage set were not at all pleasing. The start and end of the show were very very underwhelming, and it seemed no effort was made with the props. This is probably not the case but that's how it came across to us. We were very disappointed.
I took my two daughters (aged 6 and 3) to see this show at the weekend and we were very disappointed, having travelled from Rayleigh in Essex (at a cost of £50 in train fairs) together with the cost of the show. I had read all the reviews and had expected so much better. The scenery had a lot to be desired, including a stack of boxes for trees, dirty blue towels for the river, a brown sheet for the mud!!! Surely a theatre like The Lyric in Shaftesbury Avenue could have done better. The highlight for my girls was getting squirted by a water gun and the fake snow. We would not recommend this show!