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Children's shows - reviews

Aliens Love Underpants

Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
26 October 2013, 12.30pm

Aliens Love Underpants. A show about aliens and pants. What’s not to love? As opposed to a pants show about aliens. aka Dr Who.

Pants are pretty high up on the list of popular topics of conversation in our house. It’s not right at the top – that honour goes to poo, closely followed by wee and bum in second and third. Or should I say turd?!

But there is something about underwear that makes children giggle, so a show that starts by asking the audience what their favourite pants are, is full of promise for a young child!

Space travel

The show is based on the popular book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort which is a rhyming story about aliens who come down to earth and steal pants.

The stage adaptation from Big Wooden Horse Theatre takes this scenario and puts it in a story where the hero is schoolboy, Timmy, whose family’s pants keep disappearing – but don’t worry, there’s no nudity! First they are stolen from the washing line, then from a bedroom drawer!

As a boy who dreams of space travel, Timmy is excited to find aliens in his bedroom and goes on a magical journey in a spaceship to the alien’s world where pants are – quite literally – put on a pedestal.

An energetic four-person cast, work well with each other, appear on an imaginative set, deliver a witty script with enthusiasm, sing catchy songs and skilfully operate the colourful puppets, which are faithfully recreated from the book.

The first scene shows Timmy and his friends in school watching footage of the first man on the moon so setting the scene for the space theme.

I liked this part, especially the groovy 60s style song from the teacher, but it does make the show appear as if it’s more for older children.

However, as soon as the aliens appeared in the sky – with their eyes on the pants – my 3.5 year-old was totally in the zone.

A scene where Timmy’s dad has to go to Pants R Us to re-stock – thus giving the audience a chance to shout out details of their favourite pants – was also a hit.

A glance at my husband revealed a barely concealed smirk, which proved that pants are also highly amusing to 30-something men as well!

It’s a lively show with puppets and pants that lasts under an hour – all in all, just right for little ones.

V’s verdict: I liked the twinkling stars and all the music best!

Head to the Aliens Love Underpants website for fun activity sheet downloads and tour dates.

Length: 55 minutes with no interval.

Age range: 3+

Merchandise: A good range of books by the same authors was available in the foyer. As we had quite a few of these, we escaped with a “postergramme” for £1, a plush alien £8 (a bit steep but a big hit) and an Alien’s Love Underpants sign on a stick for £3.50.

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