Stick Man is a classic children’s book. It is now on at the Leicester Square Theatre until 5 January. We asked Stephanie Sandeman-Allen, local mum of two boys, to review the show for us.
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much loved story ‘Stick Man’ is re-told live on stage by Scamp Theatre, and impressively so. The story follows Stick Man’s adventures as he tries to find his way home to the family tree.
This is undoubtedly the best example of children’s theatre that I have seen. Stick Man offers a very polished opportunity to enjoy a unique children’s theatrical experience. It is truly interactive and entirely enchanting.
At one point the actors entered the audience space and, to the absolute delight of the children, they even ventured down one of the rows! Stick Man batted a ball into the audience which the children were able to throw, bounce by bounce, back onto the stage!
The three actors were flawless in all of their actions and interactions. Every single moment their physicality and facial expressions were on point, nobody missed a beat. And there were many beats thanks to the cheerful background music which accompanied the action throughout the performance.
It was delightful to see and hear one of the actors play instruments live on stage. He started with a ukulele, moved onto percussion including drums, cymbals and xylophone, but incredibly he even played a saxophone! The saxophone in question segued from a swan laughing into Baker’s Street, which was every bit as unexpected as any other moment of this brilliant production. It was really special seeing the instrumental sound effects being created at the same time as the rapid action that they accompanied.
The set and costumes were really simple but the use of props and the actors flawless synchronicity was very imaginative. The transitions from each step of the story were surprising and effective. Rhythmical stick play culminated in the revelation of Stick Man and his family, intriguing sponges became signets, and umbrellas transformed into the sea.
My three year old is a big fan of the book and he squealed with delight so many times watching this show. He even forgot about his snacks because he was so captivated, this is a first! He was in awe of Santa. My six year old laughed at numerous silly moments but thought that the inflatable rings in particular were hilarious, and enjoyed calling out when the actors asked the audience for help.
It is an entirely wonderful production that left all of us feeling really happy and energised. Stick Man is every bit as enjoyable for the grown ups as it is for the children. Anyone who enjoys theatre, music and of course the book itself is sure to have a lot of fun seeing Stick Man.