What do you get when you combine four Julia Donaldson stories with props, songs, musical instruments and silly noises? A fantastic show, that’s what!
Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales was the first theatre show that I took my son to when it was at the Connaught Theatre back in June 2016. We both absolutely loved it, so I jumped at the chance to take my daughter to a performance at the Theatre Royal in Brighton.
It was as brilliant as I had remembered, and it seemed that the whole audience agreed with us too!
The show is performed by Freckle Productions with the cast consisting of three performers. The start of the show is pretty unconventional, with the cast members coming on stage and moving pieces of scenery and props around, accompanied only with the occasional ‘hup’ or ‘he-up’. This continues for a few minutes and really sets the tone for the show. It’s very relaxed but also lovely and friendly, and targeted at young audience members. It’s a very timeless production, there are no references to modern culture or anything that the audience needs to understand in advance!
The four Julia Donaldson stories that are included within the show are Monkey Puzzle, A Squash and a Squeeze, The Smartest Giant in Town and Tiddler. The show starts with Monkey Puzzle and returns to that story throughout the show, mixed in with the other stories. There are fantastic musical numbers for each story but without being cheesy. A Squash and a Squeeze is interpreted into Southern America, with a hoe down and line dancing. For the Tiddler story, the cast are dressed in yellow fishermen outfits and there is some great use of fishy props and a shadow shark. The production is very polished, but without seeming so.
I would absolutely recommend this show to anyone with young children. You don’t need to be fans of the books or to have read any of them to be able to enjoy the performance. It really is one of those productions that will stay in your memory for a long time; it’s unique and innovative and your children will love it!
You can catch performances at the Theatre Royal on Tuesday 21st August, and remaining dates in Oxford, Stoke and Birmingham.