[Review] Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales

We had the pleasure of seeing Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales by Scamp Theatre this week.

Scamp Theatre’s TIDDLER & OTHER TERRIFIC TALES from Scamp Theatre on Vimeo.

The smalls enjoyed it. I REALLY enjoyed it. It looked good from the blurb…

Based on the books by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, these terrific tales are woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters from their best-loved titles: Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant in Town and A Squash and a Squeeze. Funky moves, toe tapping tunes and giggles are guaranteed!
Is Tiddler telling the truth?
Will Monkey find his Mummy?
Will George The Giant make lots of friends?
Can the old lady really squash and squeeze all those animals in?
The perfect treat for kids 3+ and their families and friends!
This delightful production is brought to you by the award-winning Scamp Theatre (Stick Man – Live on Stage! Private Peaceful, Friend or Foe) and adapted from the bestselling books by Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo).
Delightfully directed by Sally Cookson, dazzling design by Katie Sykes, funky tunes by Benji Bower and lush lighting by Elanor Higgins!
‘I love how Scamp scamper through my stories, transporting them from page to stage so faithfully and innovatively.’ Julia Donaldson, author and Children’s Laureate

* * * * ‘Mesmerising’ FEST
* * * * ‘Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler’s tales are lovingly brought to life. A perfect children’s show’ The British Theatre Guide
* * * * ‘Immerses children and parents into a world of wonder – a real treat!’ Broadway Baby
* * * * Whatsonstage.com
**** ‘Award winning Scamp Theatre certainly live up to their name’ The Good Review

Of course, we already knew the stories were good. We are all massive Julia Donaldson fans in this house (I may have read What the Ladybird Heard over 1000 times). I was lucky enough to meet her and hear her speak a few years ago. She’s so grounded and generous with her thoughts and time. She is never patronising in the way some authors who “write for children” are, and I feel that is why her stories are enjoyed by all ages. A good story is a good story. Period.

 What I wasn’t expecting was the brilliant way Scamp Theatre took these stories and added some extra magic of their own. The set was outstanding. Minimal, with just ladders, baskets and a folding plank plus a few baskets and bits and bobs (looked like my boot after a trip to Ikea). Every piece was used to its utmost in a really clever way. The (only) three performers were full on and engaging, taking various different roles as we visited each story, weaving each into the next seamlessly.

Now every time we read A Squash and a Squeeze we have to do it with a hillbilly accent, plus singing. And Tiddler, the story at the centre, always captures my heart. “It’s only a story, just a silly story…” Yet that silly story saved Tiddler.

We know how powerful stories are.