We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Live

Last weekend we made a little trip to London to see We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Live at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.

We're going on a bear hunt live theatre london

Considering we are big theatre fans, we haven’t been for a while and I was missing it, so this was a welcome break in the theatre drought!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a childrens’ story book by Michael Rosen and is favourite of ours. Actually it’s probably in most young childrens’ bookcases all over the Country as it’s become a bit of a classic now!

I first came across it when a friend bought it for my first son when he was little. He’s now nineteen! It was also bought for my daughter in a different cardboard book format, with a little teddy bear included! In fact, we have a few copies in our collection now!

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read this story to my children. My eight year old twins still like to listen to it at bedtime occasionally so I’m still going strong with it! It’s one they will pick up and read themselves too.

We read it time and time again and it never tires… it’s one of those books that really captures the imagination.

The text has an almost lyrical feel as the Dad in the story and his young children go off on a little, fun adventure across the countryside, through all kinds of weather and terrains, looking for a bear! So children like to join in with the story as the words are repetitive, shouting out their favourite parts with you as you read along!

When I asked my children if I should get tickets for We’re Going on Bear Hunt they literally bit my head off! “Yes” they said without any hesitation at all… even my daughter who has just turned 13! Such is the special relationship with this story.

We were all very excited arriving at the theatre and couldn’t wait for the show to start!

We're going on a bear hunt live theatre

I had a feeling that it would be adults playing the parts of the children, as we’ve seen numerous books brought to life this way and it honestly works really well.

There were only four actors in the production… the Dad, played by Thos Wainwright, his two children played by Joey Hickman and Rebecca Newman, a puppet baby and the family dog, played by Benjamin Hills!

we're going on a bear hunt live theatre

Straight from the off, we were drawn in by the characters we love and know so well. The lights in the auditorium were still on as the show began…. which took us by surprise. We hadn’t realised it had started for a couple of seconds! I thought this was very clever as the audience is made up of some very young children and this gentle introduction without the need for everyone to be quiet first was genius!

The actors came to the stage through the audience too which immediately connected us to them. The ‘Dog’ was  comical.. he was interacting with some of the kids, playing up to his doggy character! He also doubles up as a musician for the show!

The story was brought to life with fun songs and music.. really capturing those repetitive rhythms of the text in the book so perfectly. The places the family walk through in the story were each given their own special song and production!

There was the swishy swashy grass which was accompanied by the Lazy Nice Day song… loved this! The children in the audience were invited to make butterflies with their hands.

We're going on a bear hunt live

The splish splashing through the river came next… a groovy sounding song brought that to life… as did buckets of real water which the actors splashed in! This scene also saw them pulling out huge water pistols! I’ll let you imagine what happens there……

To create the mud scene they had paper and easels on the stage with paint used for the mud! This was very funny as they all got super messy… my children laughed their heads off at this part!

We're going on a bear hunt live

The forest scene was very funny too according to my children…. because this contained the word Poo! My twin boys’ favourite word! Some one stood in it and Dog rolled in it!

The snowstorm was quite mesmerising with the lights down and the simple but effective stage props. There was even some fake snow that fell into the audience from up high which was quite magical.

We're going on a bear hunt live

Anticipation and excitement rose as the journey took the family to the ‘dark, gloomy cave’! We wondered what the bear would look like once he came out! This was the only part where I wondered if children might be a little scared, but it was done perfectly. The bear, I’m happy to report, was more cute than scary!

we're going on a gear hunt live

The last part of the show whipped us up into a frenzy as the bear chases them back through all the scenes and heads back to their house! The main song ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ was sung and we, the audience were encouraged to join in and singalong!

We can absolutely, without hesitation, say we loved this show! My children didn’t want it to be over. For very young children it was the perfect length in terms of running time and left everyone wanting more!

Like the much loved Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenburys picture book, the show managed to capture the imagination and propel audiences into the world of this fun-filled adventure, making it the ideal theatrical experience for first time theatregoers.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is showing now at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue until the beginning of September, you can book online with tickets starting at £15.00.

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Comments

  1. What a wonderful sounding performance, mine have all loved this story too. I have copies of it for them all signed by Michael Rosen which I’m saving for their children. Xx

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