Adventures of Paddington Bear

Theatre Royal, Norwich

This is a gentle show for the younger members of our world – and it's none the worse for it.

If your little ones prefer the bright lights and general mayhem of delights such as the Tweenies and the Fimbles, then they might find dear old Paddington a touch on the dull side.

It's not a show with masses of shouting and audience participation and the noise levels in the auditorium are not too frightening – for parents, if nobody else.

The best age for this version of the classic tale is probably about three or so – my 22-month-old lasted the course and certainly enjoyed the mixture of singing and dancing and pointing with affection at Paddington, resplendent in his red hat and blue coat.

A narrator, who also acts as Paddington's voice, keeps the show together but much of the actual tale is probably lost on the tiny tots. It does, however, stay very true to the Michael Bond original and we follow Paddington's first meeting with the Brown family and his subsequent adventures that include his first birthday party, a trip to the launderette and a visit to an antiques shop.

This production, by the popular Lollipop Entertainments, has all the right ingredients with a brightly-coloured set, outrageous costumes, catchy tunes and even the odd scary but not too scary moment.

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It clearly doesn't have an enormous budget but children do not notice things like that and the small cast has all the necessary enthusiasm to bring the show to life.

It is not a long production, about an hour-and-half in all, which is about right, so, if you're a fan of cocoa, marmalade sarnies and bears, grab your duffle-coat and head to the Theatre Royal.

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