11-19 July 2015
Reviewed by Debbie Talbot
When a friend mentioned that she was taking her son to see The Tale of Mr Tumble at the Opera House in Manchester, I had a quick look to see if any tickets were left for today’s 10.30am performance. I was delighted to find that 4 were available in row J of the stalls and snapped them up. We reached the city centre within around 20 minutes of leaving home. We found a parking space very easily down one of the side streets. Parking was on a meter and there was a convenient Pay by Phone or mobile app option which is great for those who do not carry cash around. We crossed at the pedestrian crossing right outside the Opera House, collected our tickets from the box office very quickly and headed down to our seats in the stalls. The staff were friendly and helpful they even allowed another adult not seeing the show to help me take my twins, aged 2½, to their seats and get them settled. The Opera House is a beautiful building which is a delight to visit.
The Tale of Mr Tumble follows the life story of Mr Tumble from bouncing baby Tumble, complete with red nose, to the family entertainer we know and love today!
The show started soon after we were seated and Tom & Jack’s faces lit up. Jack spent ages mesmerised and starring at the stage. He kept saying ‘Mumble’ which is how he says Mr Tumble. Tom was grinning from ear to ear. My 9 year old daughter came too and she grinned her way through the show. Both of us laughed loads too and got caught up in making wonderful family memories. My twins sat good as gold transfixed by what was happening on stage. The set was amazing and set changes flawless. I loved the special effects on the back screen, my favourite moment being when Mr Tumble climbed down the ladder.
All of the cast were simply amazing. Our favourites were Mr Tumble/Granddad Tumble, young Mr Tumble. The boy who played the part was simply wonderful and I hope that he has a bright future ahead as an actor. Ronni Ancona was perfect as Miss Eerie and I couldn’t help but laugh at her. Samantha Dorrance shone as Tootsie. It was lovely to see her and Mr Tumble interact. In no time at all the interval was here. We used the opportunity to go to the toilet. They were close to the auditorium and clearly checked often which is a relief when taking children out. We returned to our seats to wait for the second half of the show to start.
One of my twins happily sat to watch the whole show without getting restless or distracted. Jack, my twin who has speech and language delay, did get rather restless not long before the end of the show. I would say that the length is about right and any longer would be too long for young children. I won’t spoil the show by telling you exactly what happens, but I would recommend this show to anyone with little Mr Tumble fans in their household. My boys loved every moment of it. My 9 year old daughter said she enjoyed it too. Whilst we did not buy any refreshments, they were readily available to buy at a reasonable cost. The programme and scratch card we were given are a great memento of a very special family experience.
I will be looking out for more shows with live TV characters to take my twins too. The excitement did not finish at the theatre, my boys have been singing the songs and mentioning ‘Mumble’ in Jack’s case and ‘Mr Tumble’ in Tom’s all afternoon.
Tickets cost from £18.25 to £26.25 (no booking fees).
The Tale of Mr Tumble is at the Opera House in Manchester until 19 July 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3018.
Opera House Manchester. 3 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HP | 0844 871 3018