Stick Man (4 stars)

Julia Donaldson's creation comes to life just in time for Christmas

comments (1)

This article is from 2014.

Stick Man

For most children, recreating the action-packed visuals in your average film, game or app is pretty impossible. But, should they be so inclined, emulating the cast of Stick Man back home in their bedroom after the show is eminently possible.

There’s a charming simplicity to this production that sends a very clear message to the young minds watching it – you could do this, too. Readily available items such as umbrellas, beach balls, rubber rings, coloured paper and, of course, sticks all play a part in bringing Julia Donaldson’s picture book to life. Proving that innovative direction and set design can trump a big budget any day.

Donaldson’s book has no shortage of fans, and for good reason. The clever rhymes, repetition and ever-increasing peril the eponymous hero finds himself in all make for great reading out loud. So it stands to reason it would work well on stage. Having good source material, however, is only the start. To turn Stick Man into a great live show Scamp Theatre needed to think outside of the box.

Each misadventure our hero falls into, from being toyed with by a dog to almost burning on a fire, is cleverly played out. Not just through astute use of props, but by the three performers who breathe life into each role they play.

Glasgow-born Gordon Cooper has spent the past 12 Christmases on the panto circuit, and it shows – in the best possible way. Small faces light up as he asks the audience to locate the naughty dog who has made off with Stick Man in his jaws, or throw back a beach ball batted into the crowd.

Then, when a certain someone drops down the chimney to take Stick Man home to the family tree, it begins to feel a lot like Christmas.

Reviewed at Edinburgh's Christmas 2014. St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh, until Sun 4 Jan.

This article is from 2014.

Stick Man

  • Directed by: Sally Cookson
  • Written by: 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.

Artsdepot, London N12

Thu 8 Dec

£8–£13 / 020 8369 5454

Leicester Square Theatre, London WC2H

Sat 10 Dec

£14–£21.50 (Children £16.50; £65) / 0844 873 3433

  • 10:30 Stick Man Leicester Square Theatre, London
  • 12:15 Stick Man Leicester Square Theatre, London
  • 14:00 Stick Man Leicester Square Theatre, London

Sun 11 Dec

£14–£21.50 (Children £16.50; £65) / 0844 873 3433

  • 10:30 Stick Man Leicester Square Theatre, London
  • 12:15 Stick Man Leicester Square Theatre, London
  • 14:00 Stick Man Leicester Square Theatre, London

Wed 14 Dec

£14–£21.50 (Children £16.50; £65) / 0844 873 3433

  • 11:00 Stick Man Leicester Square Theatre, London
  • 13:30 Stick Man Leicester Square Theatre, London
…and 16 more dates until 30 Dec

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

Sat 10 Dec

£14 (£12) / 02476 524524

  • 11:00 Stick Man Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
  • 13:30 Stick Man Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

Sun 11 Dec

£14 (£12) / 02476 524524

  • 11:00 Stick Man Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
  • 13:30 Stick Man Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

Mon 12 Dec

£14 (£12) / 02476 524524

  • 10:30 Stick Man Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
  • 13:30 Stick Man Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
…and 15 more dates until 31 Dec

Comments

1. MaggieB21 Nov 2015, 8:25pm Report

Fantastic show. Clever production that was thoroughly enjoyed by all 3 kids, ages 7,5 and 2, and their parents! Strong, likeable cast tell the Stick Man's story in a captivating and funny show. We all came out smiling and feeling very Christmassy!

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