“Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, that’s me.”
Most likely most people who have or know young children will be familiar with the heart-warming and witty work of Julia Donaldson and her illustrator Alex Scheffler (The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom)
One of the duo’s most popular works, Stick Man – the 2008 tale of a good natured wooden fellow separated from his home and family (which will be extra familiar to many thanks to the recent hit Christmas TV version) – has been brought alive on stage by Scamp Theatre, and is back at the Lowry this weekend.
For anyone yet to experience the bittersweet tale of Stickman, it centres around our eponymous hero who lives in his Family’s tree with his “stick lady love and his stick children three.”
Upon waking early one morning, Stick Man goes for a jog, before being caught up in a serious of misadventures involving dogs, swans, children and the elements, which serve only to take him further from home.
“Will I ever get back to the family tree?” He wonders? (If only he’d hit the snooze button instead!
The wonderfully inventive production sees three talented performers play all the roles, along with a mixture of puppets and props – everything from wellies to umbrellas, beach balls and rolls of cardboard are pressed into action to tell the tale on stage.
Christopher Currie brings a nice sense of bewilderment and frustration to the title role, while Euan Wilson and Kate Maylon have great fun bringing all the other characters to life. All three give a masterclass in physical and vocal comedy.
There’s live music and clever sound effects, and some witty and seriously catchy songs too – the opening number in particular is a total ear worm that I’m confident will be in my head for days.
Absolutely not a panto, there’s still a bit of audience participation and forays into the auditorium by the cast.
And there’s just the right amount of peril without being too worrying for little ones – my almost three year old Godson did slide off his booster seat and onto my lap when Stick Man was caught up in the choppy ocean, but that was as scary as things got.
And being the only one of Donaldson and Scheffler’s tales that is set at Christmas, complete with a scene stealing cameo from the big red man himself, the production has a gloriously festive feel,
“Again” was the immediate verdict from my little reviewer, as the lights went up in the Quays Theatre.
This really is a beautiful and thoughtful piece of children’s theatre, which treats both the much-loved source material, and young audiences, with the respect they deserve.
For further tour dates head to http://www.scamptheatre.com