Reviewed by Louise Watts
Anyone who has ever had children or been a child themselves (that should cover everyone!) will know the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle”, but have you ever actually sat down and really thought about the words?
Let’s be honest, the “cat and the fiddle” – how many cats do you know that can play the violin?
“The cow jumped over the moon” – how on earth did he do this?
“The little dog laughed to see such fun” – I have never heard a dog laugh!
“And the dish ran away with the spoon” – The mere thought of this makes me laugh!
Yesterday I attended the Goblin Theatre production of “Hey Diddle Diddle” at The Hawth theatre, Crawley with my 5-year-old son. Over the years, I have been to many children’s plays with my 4 children and I thought I had some idea of what to expect. The moment the show opened with the cat playing the violin, I knew this was going to be special and I was not disappointed.
The next 45 minutes or so were based on the words in the rhyme but each line had its own story to explain it. For example, there was a story about the dish and the spoon and how they eventually ended up running away together and a fantastic explanation as to how the cow jumped over the moon. The stories were told extremely well by the two actors and they had the perfect mix of music, singing, dancing, comedy and reality. The cow was by far my son and my favourite character and he was portrayed beautifully. The songs were repetitive (but not too much) and simple and my son was been singing them all afternoon!
The set was simple but captivating. It is amazing what can still be done with an overhead projector – took me back to my school days. The costumes were versatile and simple yet believable and easily changeable. The props really made the show work, the freezer and Mr. Tupperware were hilarious, a real adult humour moment!
The kids in the audience were joining in when needed and laughing out loud. My son said after that he thought it was really funny and wants to see it again next year. He laughed the whole way through!
The Hawth theatre studio is lovely. It accommodates around 100 -150 people and is small and personal, which is simply perfect for introducing our young ones to the theatre. The bar was open selling drinks and snacks and vending machines are also available stocking chocolate and drinks. Booster seats are readily available for young guests to enable them to see even if an adult is seated in front of them. The staff are always friendly and approachable and keen to assist in any way they can. Parking is easy and free which makes a change! I have been visiting The Hawth theatre since it opened and I have never had an issue with parking.
I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone with children aged under 8 years of age. It is fun, lively and captivating. In my sons’ words mid-way through the show (when the theatre was quiet!!) “I thought this morning the show would be boring, but it wasn’t, it was really really funny”. Get yourself down to the nearest theatre showing “Hey Diddle Diddle” and have an incredible time!
For more about Goblin Theatre and their shows visit www.goblintheatre.co.uk.
For other shows at The Hawth in Crawley visit hawth.co.uk or call the box office on 01293 553636.
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636