Stickman, Leicester Square Theatre, London 

This weekend we went to see Stickman, the play. If you read my blog regularly you’ll know we go to the theatre quite often. This year we’ve seen Disney on Ice, The Gruffalo, The Scarecrows wedding and now Stickman. S has also seen 2 other shows with his school. I love taking him to see shows based on books we read because he’s able to literally watch the book come to life. My hope in doing this is to spark his imagination and extend to him my love for the arts. 

Most of the children’s shows we go to are an hour long (perfect for those shorter attention spans) and have very few people on stage. Stickman was no exception with only 3 people playing the various characters. It’s about a stick who lives with his stick lady love and his 3 children in a family tree. One day he goes out for a walk and is attacked by dog, thrown into a river and used as a mast for a flag. With each encounter he bellows out “I’m not a twig (bat, pen, etc) why can’t they see, I’m stickman, I’m stickman, I’m stickman, that’s me.” He just wants people to see him for what he is – a stick being with feelings of his own – who longs to be back in the family tree.

Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, Room on the Broom, etc.) they are known for their poetic prose and imagination. Sally Cookson and her team have done a fantastic with this wonderfully exuberant and delightful stage production. They make deft use of a ukulele, banjo, saxophone, the drums and chimes. And there’s plenty of audience participation, the cast entering the audience at one point as the “dog” chases “stickman”. This show had more audience participation than any other we’ve seen before and this went a long way in holding the kids attention and keeping them highly entertained.

 Stickman is a wonderful Christmas themed adaptation and I’d recommend taking your children to go see it this holiday season. It’s showing at The Leicester Square Box Office from the 16th of November until the 30th of December.

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