Leicester Square Theatre (venue)
11 July 2017 (released)
12 July 2017
Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales at the Leicester Square Theatre is a complete delight. Beautifully performed by the three actors, the show intelligently and imaginatively weaves together four of Julia Donaldson’s much-loved children’s stories – Monkey Puzzle, A Squash and a Squeeze, The Smartest Giant in Town, and the eponymous Tiddler. The gentle slapstick at the start, involving humorous exploration of props, provoked immediate howls of laughter from the junior members of the audience. I soon found myself joining in and was happily smiling throughout.
The drama was wonderfully inventive, with amusing low-key multifunctional props - scarfs become snakes, an elephant was conjured up from pillow cases and a giant slinky (aka a trunk), coffee tins and books were transformed into miniature houses with pitched roofs for the giant scenes. The music was joyful and infectious. Undoubtedly it was most rewarding for those already well-versed in the books - there was audible affection for Tiddler and his stories expressed by the enthusiasts in the audience. But it is entirely accessible to and enjoyable for those who are coming to the tales for the first time.
Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales succeeded in thoroughly entertaining the junior members of the audience, whilst deftly charming the parents. My 4 year old was transfixed throughout the hour long show and wanted another story at the end: no greater compliment. The only shame was that the theatre wasn’t as full as it should have been. This show is a celebration of the joy of story-telling and of the power of the imagination – reflecting perfectly the reasons for the great appeal of Julia Donaldson’s books. Children’s theatre at its best.