Did Hefy Hugh and Lanky Len get our vote?
All children have their favourite bedtime stories and lets be honest, all adults who have young children in their lives (I’m talking to all the Mum’s, Dad’s, Granny’s, Pop’s Aunty’s and so on here) we all have our favourite stories that we like to read to those prized little ones and ‘What the lady bird heard’ is both mine and my beloved nieces. Let’s face it, there’s some stories that we adults may prefer reading more than others 😉
Julia Donaldson’s ‘What the ladybird heard’ is witty, charming and endearing with clever characters who work together to prevent the thievery of the farmer’s prize cow from two not so bright robbers, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len, the Ladybird, being the surprising star of the show.
Myself, my nieces their Mum and Granny went to see the theatre production by Kenny Wax Family Entertainment at The Tyne Theatre in Newcastle and to say that the girls were excited as they waved their ladybird leaf merchandise (kindly bought by their Granny on the way in) and munched on some popcorn, was an understatement.
The scene is set at the farmer’s home, his prize cow on show, a welcoming song called ‘Home’ begins and we are shown around the farm and introduced to the much loved characters of the story.
Before long, what would prove to be my nieces favourite song, a wake up song, is sung merrily while the cast cleverly form animals out of props in the most imaginative way. A mop becomes a dog, a beer barrel a hog and so on (I’ll stop there so as not to spoil it!) before the stage is filled with a whole host of farm animals, as the farmers cats watching happily from the farmer’s home.
Children of all ages are mesmerisied as the ladybird makes its appearance and are encouraged to excitedly shout out when they spot it again and again by the ensemble cast, seemingly enchanted as the story unfolds further.
Throughout, the cast encourage the audience to join in and have fun to spot the ladybird and sing along with the catchy songs, laughing in particular at the robbers and their silliness as they bump into one another in a classic slap stick comedy style, let’s face it, they’re not the best burglars and the actors ensure to make these baddies funny and not scary for the young viewers to watch.
The story, of course, comes to a happy ending and the children in the audience danced to the catchy and easy to pick up songs, I guarantee you’ll struggle to get out of your head easily!
What can I say, the theatre production bought the written story joyfully to life. With a clever use of props, a great personal storytelling that kept both a young and older audience engaged and a wonderful musical soundtrack that you’ll want to keep listening to.
So much so, I bought it for my nieces on our way out, much to their immediate dismay as they both wanted yet another cluddly toy (the prize cow cuddly this time!They have hundreds already!).
Of course, the CD has played non stop since and we all practically know every word to every song they love it so much!
So do I recommend it?
Yes! Sadly the Newcastle show is over however its showing in other dates across the country and can be found at the Kenny Wax Family Enterainment Ltd website.
My nieces ages 3 & 5 and 3/4 loved it. Goodness, I’m 35 years old and I throughly enjoyed it.
All in all this is a wonderfully fun theatre show that is enjoyed by all!