By Nick Parkhouse
CHILDREN’S theatre comes in all shapes and sizes.
From giant Arena events such as CBeebies Live to intimate touring shows such as this lovely production of How the Koala Learnt to Hug, there are plenty of ways to get kids involved with live stage shows.
How the Koala Learnt to Hug is part of a new anthology of stories by author Steven Lee, who also runs and fronts the People’s Theatre Company. A contemporary Aesop’s fable, the hour long production tells the tale of Natascha, a grumpy koala bear that realises that happiness comes only through being kind to her lonely eucalyptus tree.
There were plenty of eccentric characters – the Reggae Beavers were my particular favourites – and enough easy, catchy sing-along tunes to engage both adults and children alike.
To be honest, there can’t be many other theatre events that end up with three generations of a family singing Hey Grumpy Koala while an enthusiastic Australian comes clambering through the audience.
How the Koala Learnt to Hug was perfect interactive fare for a young crowd while having enough to keep grown-ups entertained. Lee’s production was a charming and entertaining way to spend a cold weekend morning.