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Children's shows - reviews

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

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V with her innovative roly poly Old MacDonald book

Grove Theatre, Dunstable
17 February 2014, 2.30pm

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O.

Yes, that was the song still ringing in the audience’s ears as we left the theatre, and if anyone was at all surprised by that, they really shouldn’t have been because the title of the show is frankly a bit of a give away!

This People’s Theatre Company production is basically a very enjoyable hour of well known children’s songs linked together by a story about Old MacDonald’s animals going missing and the friendly scientist who arrives with a time machine to help find them.

Two lively actors use a pleasing combo of live action, adorable puppetry and clever animation to keep the young audiences in the palms of their hands, getting them to sing and dance along to songs such as Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes and She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain, solve puzzles and shout out the answers to the clues to help them find the elusive creatures.

V was certainly enthralled by the whole thing, was up and down dancing and shouting out the answers – although she did ask why they never found the chickens as they had been on the list of animals on the stage that they were supposedly looking for.

Thinking quickly, I said it was probably a list of all the animals which lived on the farm, not a list of lost ones and the chickens had probably never been lost. I hope this wasn’t a lie – she certainly looked doubtful!

But as we all joined in the title song with gusto in the finale her thoughts of foul play seemed to melt away!

During the show, I took a look around at one point and saw so many children, staring wide-eyed at the stage with big smiles on their faces – and that, after all is what it should be all about.

V’s verdict (aged 4)

I really liked the show – it was awesome.

Why didn’t they find the chickens? They were on the list. We found the cows, sheep, pig and ducks but not the chickens. Why not?

Before, I didn’t know who the “she” was in “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain” – now I know it’s a sheep!

Run time: About 1 hour with no interval.

Age range: 4+

Other stuff: Old Macdonald books, toys and CDs in the foyer for prices from about £5. We got an innovative roly poly book which V loves!

Old MacDonald Had a Farm is playing at many venues and dates – see the website for details.

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