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Children's shows - reviews

Hugless Douglas

Hugless Douglas

A simple but effective set.

Radlett Centre, Radlett
14 August 2014, 11.30am

I’m not ashamed to admit that I think I got something in my eye at the end of this heartwarming show!

David Melling’s sweet story is about a young bear in search of the perfect hug, so when he discovers only a hug from his mum will do, you can’t help but feel your eyes pricking. Or maybe that was just soppy old me?!

The book is already perfect bedtime reading – the stage adaptation is an excellent recreation of a favourite story.

Blunderbus Theatre Company blend music, puppetry and live action in a show packed with laughter, slapstick comedy, extremely catchy songs and lots of love which makes it a delightful hour in the theatre.

Three performers bring the charming tale to life, singing, dancing and interacting with the audience.

One – as Douglas – comes across as lovable and fun which is no mean feat when you are in a large bear suit!

He regularly headed into the audience for cuddles until he settled on one parent, who probably didn’t realise he would play such a big part in the show when he woke up this morning, but “daddy Matthew” was a very good sport!

The others greeted the audience and talked to the children as they waited for it to start – my daughter was absolutely delighted to chat to Andy about what she thought would happen.

Then they energetically keep the story moving along, singing, dancing, finding all the things Douglas can hug and working a range of puppets.

It’s a beautifully and creatively told tale and my four-year-old was mesmerised, sitting still for the whole show – so if ever there’s a DVD available let me know!

She was totally involved and while she got a bit worried when Douglas went the wrong way to find his mum – I can honestly say I have never heard her belly laugh so much in the theatre – all over an upside down map!

The show is perfect for the advertised age range of 3-7 but it’s lovely for all the family – I realised half way through I was sitting with a big cheesy grin on my face!

I think the emotion at the end came from the fact that while this is a great show for children, it reminds adults how important hugs are. V and me have been hugging ever since and that’s OUR favourite hug!

V’s verdict

That was an awesome show.

The bits where he kept getting the map the wrong way round were REALLY funny – I laughed a lot.

We also laughed when the bear kept hugging the daddy – that was so funny. It’s a good job our daddy wasn’t with us – he wouldn’t have liked that – he would have been horrified!

Highly recommended – check the tour dates on the website.

Age range: 3-7

Running time: Just under 1 hour with no interval.

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