Reviewed by Louise Watts
In September 2011, Claire Freedman released her book titled “Monstersaurus” aimed at pre-school children telling the story of Monty, a budding inventor and his inventing machine. One day when Monty finds a book about creating monsters, he sets about mixing his ingredients but has no idea what is going to happen!
This has now been adapted for stage by Big Wooden Horse, a theatre company who produce theatre for young children and families. With a cast of three the story is told beautifully in a captivating and fun way for children of all ages. Sam Hoye, who plays Monty, is brilliant. He pulls off the young geeky inventor perfectly. Mark Collier, aka “Monstersaurus”, is hilarious. His singing, dancing and overall performance is incredible, and he has the whole audience joining in and laughing with him. Monty’s Mum, played by Natalie Simone, is very funny especially with the underlying adult humour.
I attended The Hawth theatre in Crawley this morning (24 March 2018) with my 3-year-old son to see this amazing children’s story come to life on stage. I personally have never read the book, so my knowledge was limited. I was pleased to hear from some people in the queue in front of me that they had seen it around 2 years ago and had come back again because it was so good. As we entered The Studio, which is the smaller theatre at The Hawth and seats around 150 people, it was clear that it was packed with excited small people and their accompanying adults all waiting for the show to start. There were two inventors talking to children in the audience and some children were given ingredients to hold on to until they were asked for them during the show.
The show started with a lovely introduction by Monty and his Mum to themselves and the story we were about to hear. It quickly became obvious that this was a fun, thrilling show with audience participation welcomed. There were many songs which were simple and fun with dancing that made everyone chuckle. My personal favourites were the Monster dance and Monstersaurus.
The show has a running time of around 50 minutes with no interval and this was about right. All the children remained engaged throughout the show and there was a little boy in the front row aged about 1 year who could not stop bobbing up and down and was clearly loving every minute.
The show is suggested for children aged 3 plus but there were many children younger than that in the audience who all enjoyed it, so it would be suitable for younger children too. The Hawth was as usual a lovely venue with attentive, polite staff and parking is easy in their large on site free car park.
I would thoroughly recommend this show to anyone with small children whether you have read the book or not. Book your tickets for this lovely family friendly funny production. It will be your loss if you do not see it.
Monstersaurus is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit monstersauruslive.com.
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