Reviewed by Louise Watts
Sarah and Duck has been on our TV screens since 2013, telling tales of friendship, imagination and problem solving through the eyes of Sarah, a 7-year-old girl and her best friend Duck. It has been such a big hit partly due to its simplicity and calming nature instead of a complete sensory bombardment like many pre-school programmes nowadays.
Yesterday afternoon after nursery, I took my 3-year-old son to The Hawth in Crawley to see Sarah and Duck on stage. We were both very excited not only to see Sarah, Duck and many of the other characters on stage but also to see how they would be brought to life.
The stage was ready with a beautiful set including the park bench and a colourful backdrop with a tree. It was simple but detailed enough. The show opened with a lovely song performed by the puppeteers about the weather, thus setting the scene perfectly for the story to begin.
When Sarah and Duck entered the stage, the children were encapsulated in these wonderful characters. The story revolves around Sarah trying to put on a birthday soiree for Scarf Lady who is busy out with bag looking for her birthday. Sarah manages to gain the assistance of many including the Ribbon Sisters, Flamingo and John, Umbrella and The Shallots. Each person brings their own special magic to the stage showing that everybody has different talents in life and they are all valid.
The set itself was adaptable but uncomplicated. The puppeteers did a fantastic job with the puppets but also with the set making it almost unnoticeable when they were changing parts for the next scene. My particular favourite set was the big top circus tent which absolutely looked the part despite being very easy to create. The puppets themselves looked just like the characters on TV and with the voices being the same they were real life characters.
The running time of the show was an hour which I think is the perfect time for pre-school children. The show managed to keep the children entertained and there was very little grumbling. The Hawth itself was very welcoming and having been attending there since I was a child myself, I have always found the staff to be very helpful and polite. There are facilities available for drinks and snacks and the theatre has ample free parking on site, removing the stress of where to park.
I would thoroughly recommend this show to anyone with pre-school children. It was different from some other shows I have been to in that there was little audience involvement and therefore the children were not being hyped up throughout the show. It was the perfect wind down story for my son after a busy day at nursery.
Sarah and Duck Live is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.sarahandducklive.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