‘Stick Man lives in the family tree
With his Stick Lady LoveÂ
and their stick children three…â€™
This Christmas, Stick Manâ€™s famous and much-loved family tree is firmly rooted in Edinburghâ€™s St Andrew Square. Stick Man himself, though, heading out innocently on his morning jog, has to go through plenty of trials and tribulations â€“ snapping dogs, scary swans, fierce little girls â€“ before he gets back home, bringing Santa Claus with him!
Judging by the enthusiasm with which each scene was greeted, there wasnâ€™t one pre-schooler in the audience who didnâ€™t know and love this story.Â More usually brought to them via the mesmerising words of Julia Donaldson MBE (2011-2013 Childrenâ€™s Laureate and best known for The Gruffalo) in company with the hugely talented illustrator, Axel Scheffler, this adaptation features three actorsÂ and a one-man-band playing a host of colourful characters and animals to magically re-tell Stick Manâ€™s adventures.
This adaptable and engaging trio, from award-winning Scamp Theatre, creates an engaging performance.Â It takes a leap of imagination to go from Schefflerâ€™s vibrant drawings to people on a stage holding up sticks-with-faces; at least it does for the adults, the children have no such difficulties.Â The production contained all the necessary hooks â€“ boisterous audience interaction, Santa Claus, and Stick Man being bit on the bottom â€“ to hold the attention of this trickiest of audiences.
As a grown-up, I might quibble about the price of tickets (not that they are out of line with any of the other shows in the city) and the fact that there were no concessions to this being a play for small people â€“ the initial refrain echoing round the hall was, â€˜but I canâ€™t seeâ€™ â€“ so booster seats or tiered seating would have been useful.
However, the real reviewers here, were Esme and Simon, both aged 4.Â Aficionados of Stick Man, the book, they loved it during the performance and they are still quoting it nowâ€¦ high praise indeed!
A lovely addition to Edinburghâ€™s Christmas.
Star Rating ***
Performances: Â Â Running until Sunday 4th January 2015, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh
Tickets: Â£13-18.50 (Family tickets Â£56)
Box Office: 0844 545 8252