Family Show Review: Tiddler And Other Terrific Tales Live Stage Show, Hertford
Tiddler And Other Terrific Tales, Hertford
Things We Like
- A very original adaptation which uses songs, music, dancing and puppetry
- Four stories in one show worked well
- Great entertainment for all family members
Things We Dislike
- £14 each for 1 hour is arguably a little pricey
What’s It All About?
Tiddler And Other Terrific Tales is a live stage show which brings to life four of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling books – Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant In Town and A Squash And A Squeeze. With songs, dancing, puppetry and plenty of silliness to help tell the stories, it’s an enjoyable watch for the family.
What Do We Think?
Having seen and enjoyed Freckle Productions’ Stick Man Live during 2017, we instantly snapped up tickets when we saw them touring again – this time, with Tiddler And Other Terrific Tales at Hertford Theatre. We were very pleased that we did – the show was fun, humorous, unique and had the added bonus of telling the stories of four of Donaldson and Scheffler’s books, rather than just the one in the Stick Man show.
If you’ve seen Stick Man Live, Tiddler And Other Terrific Tales definitely has the same feel and style in terms of performance. That means you can expect catchy songs, silly dancing, funny noises, plenty of randomness and a brilliant use of props to tell the stories. A few weeks later, I still have the Tiddler song stuck in my head which is testament to the catchy nature of the tunes!
The show is one hour long, with no interval, which feels like a good length. It’s not too long to lose the attention of the young kids in the audience, but it’s not too short to make the parents feel like they’ve been ripped off – spending over 50 quid for 60 minutes of entertainment isn’t cheap! As it tells four stories, it keeps you and your kids engaged throughout as something new is always happening – as Stick Man Live was just one story, it felt like it dragged a little bit in parts.
The show started with a bit of a random intro with some rope, moved on to Monkey Puzzle, A Squash And A Squeeze, Tiddler, The Smartest Giant In Town, then concluded with the finale of Monkey Puzzle. For those who haven’t read the books, Monkey Puzzle is about a monkey trying to find his mum, A Squash And A Squeeze is about an old lady with a ‘small house’, Tiddler is about a fish who tells stories, whilst The Smartest Giant In Town is about a nice giant and his clothes. All great books from the Donaldson Scheffler duo.
It’s a little difficult to describe the show. It uses performers in the traditional sense where they play a role (e.g. the giant), but also relies heavily on props to create the characters and scene. It is then down to the audience to use their imagination to watch the props, rather than the performers.
For example, the monkey from Monkey Puzzle is basically a rope with a monkey’s head, the goat from A Squash And A Squeeze is a cushion, whilst the fish in Tiddler are puppets on sticks or silhouettes on the wall.
This is all achieved with a very simple set – we’re talking a couple of ladders, a few boxes, tables and planks. The stories are told by the performers through acting with these props, as well as singing, dancing, narration and live music with instruments such as a saxophone, harmonica and ukulele.
The result is a funny, enjoyable, toe-tapping and slightly confusing at times adaptation of the books, which ultimately captivates the audience throughout – whether that’s the young kids or their parents!
What Does It Look Like?
What Do I Need To Know?
Type: Theatre, Live Show
Dates: 4th to 6th May 2018 in Hertford, with a UK tour from February 10th to June 3rd 2018.
Price: £14 each, (babies in arms free)
Duration: 1 hour (no interval).
Age Range: Babies and Toddlers (0-3), Young Children (4-8).