Theatre

Stick Man at the Theatre Royal Brighton Review

5-7 December 2019

Reviewed by Sasha Nye

The Theatre Royal in Brighton is probably one of my favourite theatres to go to. I love how traditional it is, the ambience, the decor. Even with its traditional appearance it fits in really well in the unique and Diverse Brighton. It really puts you in the right mood for whatever show you are going to see. The staff are always very polite, friendly, extremely well presented and on hand to help with any query that you may have. A bonus is that it’s minutes walk from car parks and local transport.

Stick Man is one of the many wonderful books by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Published in 2008 it sold over two hundred million copies worldwide and in 2015 it was adapted into a short animated film. Other books written by Julia Donaldson are the very well known The Gruffalo and Room on a Broom. Both of these were also made into short animated adaptations.

Stick Man is a children’s story about a wooden stick who becomes separated from his family home and retells his adventure trying to return home. Eventually Stick Man is reunited with his family thanks to Father Christmas.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this show or sure how they would be able to pull off the retelling of the story of Stick Man, I was pleasantly surprised.

I love Julia Donaldson books and I have lost count how many times I have read them to my own children. This time I took along my friends four-year-old daughter who loves the Stick Man. Paige has the toy and reads the book several times a night before going to sleep. At fifty-eight minutes long without an internal I wondered how all of the children in the audience would be kept entertained for so long. I needn’t have worried the Theatre Royal was full of children and they were all brilliant and that is down to the incredible cast and production of this show.

It was one set on the stage that was cleverly used to cater for all of the different scenes within the story.

Everything was used so incredibly well, from the lights down to the umbrellas. The children were transported along with Stick Man and were completely engaged from start to finish. Throughout the performance there was a great deal of participation with the audience which made lots of children smile, clap and giggle.

The cast was made up of three very talented individuals – Paddy Duff, Georgina Duncan and Jamie Coles.

As soon as they came on they captured the attention of all of the children. Paige’s favourite was Jamie Coles – Stick Man himself, but I was very impressed by the musical talents of Paddy Duff who played a number of instruments during the performance.

The whole show was magical and a real Christmas treat. With the man in red making a lovely appearance at the end.

There is something quite lovely seeing joy on children’s faces and watching them clap, laugh, dance and sing along. This show achieved all of that and more.

A great performance by a talented cast, a real treat in time for Christmas.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £17.15 (plus £1.95 transaction fee).

Stick Man is at the Theatre Royal in Brighton from 5-7 December 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/brighton or call the box office on 0844 871 7650.

Theatre Royal, New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1SD | 0844 871 7650

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