Stick Man at the Leicester Square Theatre
Scamp Theatre’s stage adaption of Stick Man, the hugely popular book written by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (the team behind The Gruffalo), has arrived back in London just in time for Christmas.
Stick Man is already a household name for a large number of families with small children; the book’s success has led not only to the theatre adaption, but also to an animated version starring Martin Freeman and Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville. Many children in the audience have come along with their own Stick Man toys, and wait eagerly for their favourite character to be brought to life in front of them on the stage at the Leicester Square Theatre.
Spectators follow the adventures of little Stick Man as he leaves his “family tree” to go on a casual morning jog, which turns into a series of mishaps as he’s repeatedly mistaken for a run-of-the-mill inanimate twig, and consequently used for a game of fetch by a dog, as a makeshift baseball bat by a couple at the beach and nearly – in one of the play’s more tense moments – as kindling.
Most of the audience will presumably be familiar with how Stick Man’s little odyssey concludes, and, as can be expected, it’s a happy and seasonally appropriate ending, complete with a cameo from Father Christmas.
The three cast members bring the odd-ball characters to life with their energetic performances, making it easy even for slightly more grown up members of the house to be genuinely invested in the plight of these little stick figurines. By the time Stick Man is emotionally reunited with his concerned “Stick Lady Love” and their three young children, it seems everyone watching has been won over by the quirky family.
Stick Man has just the right amount of audience participation to keep younger viewers engaged without being too over-the-top. The show is panto-esque but far from cheesy or irritating.
The songs are instantly catchy. Be warned that on seeing this production over the Christmas season, theatregoers will certainly still be humming Stick Man songs to themselves long after the baubles are back in their boxes and the Christmas tree is out on the pavement. But there’s nothing wrong with that.
Stick Man is at the Leicester Square Theatre from 5th November until 30th December 2016. for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for Stick Man here