Stuart Little

CAROLINE CULOT Norwich Theatre Royal


Norwich Theatre Royal

It's an awfully big adventure for one small mouse which has captivated children first with the book, then the film (well, three actually) and now the musical.

And this new show will not disappoint although it does rely much more on children (and parents alike) using their imagination. This is what I really liked about the stage version - that the Polka Theatre did not use whizzy special effects but required kids to be kids and not young adults. And in an age where children grow up so fast with the hi-tech games and movies they are bombarded with, it was so refreshing to watch a piece of theatre which involved youngsters in a bit of creative make-believe.

For example, Stuart Little, the adventurous mouse was a puppet moved around and voiced to great effect by actor Stewart Cairns. And when it was needed, like in the big boat race, Stuart becomes a tiny figure awash on waves created by the audience.

The entire production was extremely imaginative, with a creative use of set to evoke the feel of 1950s New York and a use of child's play to tell the story.

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My only criticism was that some scenes were over-long and a bit tedious. Children's concentration span is so short (and sometimes so is an adult's) and the first half was an hour long.