Stick Man to show as part of Edinburgh's Christmas 2014 celebrations

730/Kids/Stick Man

Steve Ullathorne

Scamp Theatre have adapted Julia Donaldson's book for the stage in St Andrew Square

They may be the perfect bedtime companion, but Julia Donaldson’s picture books have also proved to be ripe for adaptation. While Tall Stories have taken on The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Room on the Broom, Scamp Theatre have done an equally fine job bringing Stick Man to the stage.

Last seen in Edinburgh during the Fringe, the show is returning as part of the Christmas line-up in St Andrew Square. ‘There’s a simplicity and honesty about Julia’s work,’ says actor and musician Gordon Cooper, who takes on the fun but demanding role of the one-man-band. ‘She chose something so ordinary as a stick for this book, and yet she manages to make it come to life. It’s something that kids deal with potentially everyday in the park, so they can respond to it.’

As fans of the book know, the story follows Stick Man, his ‘Lady Love’ and three offspring, all of whom live in the Family Tree. Venturing out into the world, Stick Man encounters a dog keen to play with him, a swan who spots his potential for nest material, and a hungry bonfire.

For Cooper, who has spent the past 12 Christmases working in panto, the prospect of a show for little ones holds much appeal. ‘It will be novel not to dress up in a frock and tights,’ he says. ‘But I love Christmas shows because people arrive already in the spirit, so you’re off to a flying start. And shows like this are all about energy: you throw it out, but you also get it back.’

St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Sat 22 Nov–Sun 4 Jan.

Stick Man

  • Directed by: Sally Cookson
  • Written by: Julia Donaldson (book), Axel Scheffler (book), Benji Bower (music)

Scamp Theatre use puppetry, live music and songs to present Julia Donaldson’s popular picture book about a stick man trying to get back to the family tree.