Michael Rosen’s beloved and ever-so-slightly scary story about an intrepid family on a hunt for a bear transports itself to the West End stage, celebrating ten years since its first UK tour. From early July until 2nd September at the Lyric Theatre, the familiar rhythmic tale comes to life through original songs, puppetry, lights, music, and a beautifully soulful singing dog. From swirling snowstorms to splishy splashy water, dark forests that make you stumble-trip and swishy swoshy grass, the cast use cardboard, paint, buckets and ribbons to build a magical terrain that comes totally alive.
It’s an immersive experience with a few damp surprises that will keep the kids wide-eyed; scenes of messy, muddy play and water-filled buckets and a snowstorm engulfs the audience in light and sound, all backed up by Benji Bower’s glorious musical score.
There’s a strong Rosen-inspired thread through both the dialogue and the songs that’ll keep the kids who know the book singing along, catchy enough to get everyone in the audience clapping and singing and making butterflies and waving their arms in the air in a festival-esque kind of way. The music will stay with you, especially the dog Buddy (aka Benjamin Hills) singing the bluesy “What A Beautiful Day”, which transports you to a prairie plain instead of the darkened bowels of Shaftesbury Avenue.
There’s tension, thrills and spills; the performance builds up into the *spoiler alert* moment the bear finally gets found, and the family, slightly more scared than they thought they were, run breathlessly all the way to the safety of their home. Courage, imagination, music and play all come together in this wonderful stage adaption of a well-loved tale - keep this one for a summer family treat.
Suitable for kids age 3+. Book here.