Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s is one of B & E’s favourite books to read at Grandma’s, and so of course, we have another copy in their bedroom for when they are in need a top up. Like every other Julia Donaldson/ Axel Scheffler book on their bookshelf there is something absolutely mesmerising to them, and more so as they learn the words to recite as I read. And so, there was much excitement to dull the back to school feeling as the thought of seeing Stick Man on the stage at Sherman Cymru took hold.
‘Stick Man lives in the family tree, with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three…’
At the lights went down, B sat back with his mouth agog, and E reached for my hand as he leaned forward to observe all the action.
As magical as the book itself, so three actors transformed the stage into the adventure of Stick Man. Scamp Theatre has translated the action so well from what is in essence a short, repetitive story- creating songs, puppets, and audience engagement to ensure the diverse audience are kept in awe. What is a simple set allows the story to unfold through the physicality of the actors, with a wonderful musical score by Benji Bower, which sees on stage music created through a broad range of percussion, the one-man band left me completely impressed.
Throughout there is so much energy and pace, you feel you need to take breath alongside the actors, each character is established and the characteristics so wonderful portrayed that children instantly understand the progress of the tale.
And fortunately, but fortunately, it stays true to the book- none of the disappointment which often comes in translation, the little ones were content that this was their book on stage, and they were energised by it.
Running just short of an hour, and with Santa Claus taking the stage, the performance is absolutely perfect for the age range of those most captivated by the book.
Scamp Theatre is touring Stick Man and dates can be found on their website.
Disclosure: We were invited to Stick Man by Sherman Cymru. All views and opinions contained are our own.