Charlotte’s Web The Musical
14 December 2012 – 5 January 2013
Reviewed by Rachel Burton
Now I vaguely remember reading this at school just a couple of years ago. It’s got a spider in it and a pig – or am I thinking of Babe (Ok, ok for years read decades). Anyway, I knew I’d read it and I knew I’d enjoyed it so thought we’d take our 9 year old daughter and her friend for a Christmas Theatre Trip.
To be fair you don’t need to know the story except that it does contain a spider (Charlotte) and a pig and various other farmyard animals. However, the star must be Templeton the rat, you could almost believe that if the rat were a human it would be just so. I found myself involuntarily scratching whenever he appeared. It’s a feel good story about true friendship and, although one of the animals doesn’t, shall we say, make it to the end, it’s a natural demise and well done so even the most sensitive of children won’t be upset, as the animal in question lives on through its offspring.
The costumes were imaginative and both the costume and set changes were seamless. The intimacy of the theatre makes you feel so much more part of the action and the children especially enjoyed the part where the characters tear helter skelter up and down and around the audience. Be sure to keep your bags and legs in if on an aisle seat – you don’t want to be that person who brings the performance to a premature end. As a parent it was all I could do to stop myself shouting “You will be careful won’t you?”. As the actors took their final bow we couldn’t quite believe they had managed to pull off playing so many characters – each effortlessly taking on multiple roles.
The musical numbers are catchy and well sung and stayed in the head well after the finish of the performance.
Having done the big pantos in Manchester City Centre (and having spent one entire performance watching from the toilets as the effects but just a little too realistic for very young child) it was refreshing being able to jump in the car and keep local. The’Q’ multi-storey car park was close by, reasonably priced, clean and felt really safe. The theatre itself is modern, clean and bright and had things to see and do should you have a little time to spare. The running time is approximately 2 hours in total including the interval which we felt flew by. Prices are the same for adults and children £14/£12/£10 and vary dependent on where you sit in the auditorium. The Producer mentioned that a third party website was showing up as it being sold out so I would recommend booking direct on www.watersideartscentre.co.uk or 0161 912 5616. On until January 5th.
For more information or to book tickets click here.