Last Christmas we had the privilege of having early eyes on Freckle Productions’ production of Stick Man Live at the Leicester Square Theatre in London. We had seen ‘Tiddler and other Terrific Tales’ over the summer, and with Freckle production at the helm of another Julia Donaldson adaptation, we knew we were in for a treat. With the help of my three boys (aged 3, 5, and 6) and one slightly hard-to-please husband, here is our family’s Stick Man Live Review.
Disclosure : An affiliate booking link is included below. If used to book this will incur no extra cost to yourself but may earn me a small commission.
Stick Man…oh Stick Man …watch out for….
A dog! The Girl! A Swan! the day-trippers! the sea! the FIRE!
Poor Stick man. When a habitual morning jog transpires into a spiral of misadventures, Stick Man finds himself carried off further and further away from his beloved stick lady love and stick children three. Repeatedly mistaken for a mere stick, Stick Man becomes desperate as the seasons change and his chances of returning to the family tree in time for Christmas grow slim.
The much loved Julia Donaldson classic of triumph over adversity is in expert hands with this amazing trio of exceptionally multi disciplined actors. Armed with simple stage design and a few props, the cast are able to interchange between characters and accents with staggering ease, and in the case of actor/musician Lucas Taylor, swapping out to amaze with on stage percussion and saxophone playing.
Stick Man Live may not have all the bells and whistles of a West End spectacular, but stand out songs, live music, prop manipulation and clever puppetry are a winning formula for engaging its young audience without overwhelm. Indeed all the family will revel in the energy of the performances and jazzy musical score, punctuated with lots of audience participation and theatrical silliness. What other show invites you to crowd surf imaginary beach balls ?
But I’m Stick man..Stick man, STICK MAN that’s me!
Energetically played by Aaron Douglas, Stick Man just can’t understand why the outside world can’t see the person he is inside as he is continually mistaken for a mast, a stick for dog, a pooh-stick, a hook, even fire wood! I love the simple but clever way the Stick Man is also represented by an inanimate prop giving the dual perspective of Stick Man as seen by the outside world. These simple lessons in not taking people at face value and looking beyond appearances were great post show discussion fodder for my three boys.
But one person does see Stick Man for who he really is – Santa Claus. The theatre was awash with tiny gasps when none other than Father Christmas himself shows up to save the day and reunite the stick family on Christmas morning.
My boys were absolutely thrilled to see Father Christmas, with Rudolph at the helm of the sleigh bobbing along over the rooftops with a splattering of unexpected stage snow to boot. They also loved the panto like play out of guiding Stick man back to the family tree – “It’s behind you!”
A sure box office hit, this show is a great family treat to mark the festive season. Even my husband, an unlikely kids theatre lover, was seen tapping his toes to the catchy songs and funky moves whilst visibly tickled by the occasional adult innuendo. The fact that the auditorium is equipped with a licensed bar may also have won some favour.
What age is Stick man Live aimed at?
Whilst the show is suitable for children of all ages I would say the target audience is 3+ and I can whole heartedly recommended ‘Stick man Live’ as a first time theatre performance. The show is the perfect way to introduce or solidify your child’s love of Julia Donaldson’s popular rhyming stories. With a running time of under one hour it is also the perfect length to keep small ones engaged.
Babes in arms under 18 months do not require a ticket and there are booster seats available for young children.
Is there Buggy Parking at Leicester Square Theatre?
The Leicester Square theatre is located down a long flight of stairs so I would recommend leaving buggies at home. This said, buggy parking is available and staff are more than happy to help get buggies/wheelchairs safely downstairs.
Stick Man Live runs at The Leicester Square Theatre London from 21st October 2023 – 2nd March 2024
Stick Man Live Review: London Cast and Crew
For More Christmas Theatre Ideas read our Ultimate Guide: Christmas Kids Theatre London (2023)